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Catholic Historical 




Saint Louis, Missouri 
Published by the Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis 


Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2010 witii funding from 

CARLI: Consortium of Academic and Researcii Libraries in Illinois 


C O N T E N T vS 



The Old Cathedral Conference of St. Vincent de Paul Society 

Rev. Paul Schulte 5 

Rummaging Through Old Parish Records. Historical Sketch of 
The Parish of Opelousas, La., 1 770-1903 

Rev. B. Colliard 14 

The Old St. Louis Calvary 1 793-1818 

Rev. J. Rothenstcincr 39 

The Beginning of Catholicity in Cape Girardeau, Mo. 1793 

Rev. B. Pruente 50 

The Potawatomi Mission of Council Bluffs 1689-1765 

Rev. G. } .Garraghan, S.J I55 

Life Story of Alexander Bellesime. A Hero of The .A.merican 

A Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet 174 

The Dawn of Missouri's History. 1540-1673 

Most Rev. John Joseph Glennon, D.D 227 

Some High Lights of Missouri History. 1541-1841 

Rev. G. J. Garraghan S.J 232 

Rummaging Through Old Parish Records. An Historical Sketch 
of Lafayette, La. 1821-1921 

Rev. CItcrles L. Souz'ay, CM.-. D.D 242 

Historical: Pp. 77-90 ; 181 -190; 295-310. 
Bibliographical: Pp. 91-105 

Correspondence of Bishop DuBourg with Propaganda: Pp. 106-150; 

Bishop Rosati's Diary: Pp. 311-369. 




Issued Quarterly 


REV. I.. SOUVAY, C. M., D. D. 


REV. GlIvBERT J. GARRAGH^^^^j^^^^ 
REV. JOHN ROTHEJ»fSTp^^^ffigAp^[^^%. 
EDWARD BRO^Ur"^^ ^^^ 

Volume III JANUAItY-APEIL"fm''^""Number 1—2 


209 Walnut Street, St. Louis, Mo. 



Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis 4 

The Old Cathedral Conference of the St. Vincent 

DE Paul Society Rev. Paul Schiilte 5 

Rummaging Through Old Parish Records: Historical 

Sketch of the Parish of Opelousas, La. 

Very Rev. B. Colliard 14 

The Old St. Louis Calvary Rev. John Rothensteiner 39 

The Beginnings of Catholicity in Cape Girardeau, Mo. 

Rev. E. Pruente 50 

An Appeal 76 

Notes : Historical 77 

Bibliographical 91 

Documents from our Archives 100 

Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis 

Established February 7th, 1917 


President — Most Rev. John J. Glennon, D. D. 

First Vice-President — Rt. Rev. Mgr. J. A. Connolly, V. G. 

Second Vice-President and Treasurer — Edward Brown 

Third Vice-President — Louise M. Garesche 

Secretary — Rev. Edward H. Amsinger 

and Archivists 

TRev. F. G. Holweck 
< Rev. Charles L. Souvay, CM., D. D. 
LRev. Gilbert J. Garraghan, S. J. 


^ Rt. Rev. Mgr. J. A. Connolly, V. G., President 
Rt. Rev. Mgr. J. J. Tannrath, Chancellor 
Rev. Charles L. Souvay, C. M., D. D. 
Rev. F. G. Holweck 
Rev. Martin L. Brennan, ScD. 
Rev. John Rothensteiner 
Rev. Edward H. Amsinger 

(^ Edward Brown 

on Library 
and Publications 

r Rev. Charles L. Souvay, C. M., D. D. 
I Rev. F. G. Holweck 
<( Rev. Gilbert J. Garraghan, S. J. 
I Rev. John Rothensteiner 
[^ Edward Brown 


General Correspondence should be addressed to Rev. Edward H. Amsinger, 
Secretary, 744 S. Third St., St. Louis, Mo. 

Exchange publications and matter submitted for publication in the St. Louis 
Catholic Historical Review should be sent to the Editor-in-chief," Rev. Charles 
L. Souvay, CM., DD., Kenrick Seminary, Webster Groves, Mo. 

Remittances should be made to Edward Brown, Treasurer, 511 Locust St., 
St. Louis, Mo. 


Perhaps of all the charitable organizations of to-day none is so 
well known and so widespread as that of the St. Vincent de Paul So- 
ciety. Founded upon principles of charity laid down by the illustrious 
Saint whose name it bears, as a kind messenger, it has brought and is 
still bringing help and succor to the needy of every color and creed 
throughout the world. Far back in the sixteenth century there was 
born in Pouy, Gascony, France, Vincent de Paul, whose charity and 
love of the poor has counfounded the world. Led on by a true love of 
God which is best evinced in the love of neighbor, he devoted his best 
endeavors to the service of the needy and the afiflicted. Calling about 
him bands of noble men and women he formed them into Conferences 
and, through them, collected and distributed the necessaries of life to 
the starving thousands of Paris and its surrounding regions. It is his 
principles and spirit that have guided the Catholic Charities since his 
time. It was not, however, until May, 1833, that the organization that 
bears the name of St. Vincent de Paul was founded and elevated to 
its present high standing and efficiency. Frederick Ozanam, a brilliant 
young lawyer and author in Paris, called about him seven of his youth- 
ful companions and formulated plans for the organization of a society 
whose object should be to administer to the wants of the poor and 
thereby answer the taunts of an irreligious world which was proclaim- 
ing the death of the Christian spirit of charity. The rules then formu- 
lated upon the principles of St. Vincent are those by which our Con- 
ferences are governed today. The society quickly gained in member- 
ship; new Conferences were erected, so that today it can claim over 
two hundred thousand members, and there is scarcely a country upon 
the globe whose poor do not feel its kind and benevolent influence. 

Just twelve years after the inauguration of this noble work, Mr. 
Bryan Mullanphy returned from his studies in Paris, full of enthu- 
siasm for the achievements of the society in France, called together 
a few of the prominent Catholic laymen of St. Louis, and in the little 
school-house attached to the Cathedral, — a building destroyed in the 
great fire of 1849 — established the first council of the St. Vincent de 
Paul Society in x\merica. In the minutes of this meeting we read that 
Mr. Mullanphy presided ; an election of officers took place. Dr. M. L. 
Linton was elected President; Bryan Mullanphy 1st Vice President; 
Dennis Calvin 2nd Vice President ; James McGuire Jr. Secretary and 


Patrick Ryder Treasurer. A committee was at once appointed to wait 
upon the Bishop to acquaint him with the establishment of the So- 
ciety and ask his approbation, which was gladly given in the following 
letter read at the meeting one week later. 

"Beloved Brethren : I have learned with great satisfaction, 
that you have formed yourselves into a society which takes its 
name from the apostle of charity, St. Vincent de Paul, and which 
has for its object to relieve the poor of Christ, whose spiritual or 
corporal wants may render them subjects for that charity which 
loves not in word and tongue but in deed and truth. I approve most 
warmly of your holy undertaking and hope that your society, 
which as I am informed, has been aggregated to the parent So- 
ciety in Paris, will be the means, with the divine blessing, of pro- 
moting the practice of Christian charity as successfully here as 
the other branches of that Society have proved themselves to be 
wherever they are established. I have read the rules you have 
adopted for the government of your Society, and most cordially 
approve them. They breathe a deep spirit of piety, and appear 
to be the result of much reflection and experience. They indicate 
the means most likely to render your united efforts efficient in 
aiding the poor. They are also well calculated to keep alive 
within you the spirit of holy fervor which will not permit you 
to grow weary of doing good. Invoking on you the Divine 
blessing, and cherishing the hope that God, who has inspired 
you to commence the good work, will enable you to accomplish 
it. I subscribe myself. 

Yours most devotedly in Christ, 
Peter Richard, Bishop of St. Louis." 

With the approbation of the Bishop obtained, their next step was 
to gain affiliation with the General Council in Paris. Accordingly on 
the 11th day of December 1845 the following application for aggrega- 
tion was forwarded to France. 

Dear Sir and Confrere : — A Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul 
Society has been established in the city of St. Louis under the approb- 
ation of the Most Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick, Bishop of St. Louis, 
and under the spiritual direction of the Rev. Ambrose J. Heim. This 
Conference desires to be aggregated to the Society in Paris and thus 
secure the benefit of indulgences granted by our Holy Father to the 
faithful members of the Society. We have adopted your rules and regu- 
lations, also those of the Society in Dublin. All the members of the 
Conierence join in this letter." 

Their application was kindly received by the General Council in 
Paris which at once, forwarded the following communication which 
reached St. Louis early in April 1846. 


"Paris, Feb. 10. 1846. 
The letter which you wrote to us Dec. 15, 1845, and which 
announced to us the formation of a Conference of the St. Vincent 
de Paul Society in St. Louis, gave us great joy. We hasten to ex- 
press it to you and to inform you at the same time that the General 
Council admitted your Conference into the Society on the second 
day of the present month (February). From that moment our new 
brethren are partakers of all the precious benefits and abundant 
indulgences which the Holy Pontiff has been pleased to grant our 
Society. Nor do we doubt but these great advantages will be a 
powerful encouragement for you in the way of charity which your 
zeal has opened before you. 

We give thanks to God for this favor which permits the 
humble family of St. Vincent de Paul to plant its root even in the 
New World. Even before he inspired you in the United States 
to establish the Conference, the admittance of which into our 
Society rejoices us today, from another part of that great conti 
nent, Mexico, we had also the happiness to receive new brethren. 
This we believe cannot fail to give you pleasure. 

At the same time other blessings were accorded to the Society 
in Europe, by the establishment of a Conferenc in Protestant 
Geneva, whilst the foundation was laid of our institution in the 
heart of Islamism at Constantinople. 

This consoling spectacle to which your piety adds in some de- 
gree by your welcome into the Society, causes you and us legiti- 
mate hope for the propagation of works of Christian charity ; that 
after your example they will be spread over the soil of America, 
where, since some years, the spirit and practice of the True 
Church find reception under such providential dispositions. We 
have confidence that our wish will be realized, when we consider 
what has been done around us. It will be a great honor to the city 
of St. Louis, to which religion already owes much, for having been 
the cradle of the work in North America. We beg you not to be 
sparing in your communications to us, concerning your Conference, 
All that interests you will be of interest to us. At the same time 
we shall try to send you all that may be of interest to you, also all 
the publications. 

It is this that will cement and fortify more and more the 
hearty and perfect union, which notwithstanding the great distance, 
must bind together all the divers branches of the great family of 
the Society. It is with delight theat we place here the foundation 
of that union which nothing will be able to change. In virtue of 
a Brief of the Sovereign Pontiff dated Jan. 10th 1845, a plenary 
indulgence is granted to those conferences newly received by the 
General Council. This Council has decided that this indulgence 
will be gained by the conference of St. Louis the Sunday after the 
first meeting after the reception of this letter. 

Greetings etc. Jules Gossin 

Pres. General." 



The exortation contained in the latter part of the letter was faith- 
fully carried out. Not only was there a frequent exchange of letters, 
but appeals from the Mother Council were promptly answered by gen- 
erous contributions from the Infant Conference in America. Many of 
these letters we have at hand. It was through them that the little band 
in St. Louis was directed and encouraged. 

On the first page of the records of the early meetings we find the 
following in the handwriting of Bryan Mullanphy: 

"We the undersigned desire to form ourselves into a Society of 
St. Vincent de Paul in the city of St. Louis, in the State of Missouri." 
Beneath this simple declaration there are to be found the signatures of 
more than one hundred spirited men who pledged their time and money 
to the relief of the poor. But these names were not subscribed or the 
deeds of charity performed to gain the applause of men, and we feel 
that their names together with the poor they aided, the distressed they 
relieved and the wayward they brought back to God are written by the 
Recording Angel in letters of gold in the Book of Life. As a list of 
CathoHc names in St. Louis as early as 1845 is a historical document 
of real value, we subjoin it in the note \ Still there are three 

^ List of 
Bryan Mullanphy 
Dennis Galvin 
Thos. Anderson 
Patrick Ryder 
Martin E. Power 
John Everhart 
Jos. Masterson 
Jas. Maguire, Jr. 
J. J. Donegan 
John Byrne, Jr. 
George Ridinam 
G. A, Manning 
M. L. Linton 
J. Pelloux 
John Mclntire 
M. O'Keeffe 
J. C. Bury 
John Innis 
P. Slevin 
A. G. Heim 
John D. Mack 
John Beakey 
Wm. Doyle 
J. T. Higginbotham 
John Merrick 
Robt. S. Mitchell 
John Mullery 
S. Summerville 

early members of the 
Joseph Murphy 
Joseph O'Neill 
Wm. J. Mullin 
N. Tiernan 
Christopher Garvey 
Singleton I. Stako 
John Amend 
Bernard Slevin 
]\lichael Coyle 
Jerry Sullivan 
John H. O'Neil 
P. Walsh 
James Regan 
Jeremiah C. Slattery 
Donat O'Laughlin 
Peter Byrne 
Patrick O'Brien 
Robert O'Riely 
Stuart Matthews 
Francis Saler 
John C. Degenhart 
John F. Mitchell 
John McEnnis 
John Haverty 
John Joseph 
Edmund P. Walsh 
James Conran 
C. Slevin 

George Brein 
Joseph O'Neil 
Jacob Brookhouse 
M. Weis 
Thomas Foley 
Jos. E. Gorman 
Joseph Broeken 
James Rielly 
Rev. Father Badin 
John McFaddin 
John F. R. McEnnis 
Thomas Grey 
Wm .Wheeler 
Chas. F. Blattau 
Michael Kelly 
G. McGrade 
Rt. Rev. Dr. Barron 
Myles P. O'Connor 
James Verdin 
John Mulligan 
John Everhart, Jr. 
T. B. Bangaleyn 
Bernard Korkan 
Philip M. Sandon 
Owen V. Timon 
D. Rodier 
Andrew Breen 
H. Robinson 


names placed there that can scarcely be passd over in silence. Those 
who bore them should be remembered and honored by posterity. Their 
lives are worthy of emulation. — The three I have in mind are Bryan 
Mullanphy, Dr. M. L. Linton ^ and Rev. Ambrose J. Heim. 

The name of Mr. Mullanphy needs no introduction to the people 
of St. Louis. Born to abundant wealth, educated in the best schools 
of America and Europe, he was in no way affected by pride or selfish- 
ness, but was filled with enthusiasm for all things Christian and char- 
itable. Witnessing the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Paris 
he was so moved by what he saw that, as he himself said, the feeling 
prompting him to establish a branch in St. Louis was irresistible. He 
was an accomplished French scholar, and it was he who conducted the 
correspondance for the newly established Conference here with the 
General Council in Paris. His purse was ever open and his generosity 
unbounded. It was due to him that there were no financial ailments in 
the infant days of the Cathedral Council. He was the "Good Angel" 
of the young society and regarded it with paternal kindness to the time 
of his death. Of his other philanthropic activities I shall say nothing 
here for they are already recorded in the history of the city. 

Dr. M. S. Linton was a native of Kentucky born in an humble 
position in life. Hard work and much sacrifice enabled him to attend 
the Transylvania University from which he graduated as a Doctor of 
Medicine. Not content with this he afterwards continued his studies 
abroad at Paris and Edinburg. Up to his thirty-third year he was a 

John Kremer 
Philip Fitzsimmons 
Thomas Murphy 
Timothy Slattery 
Christopher Pieper 
Frederick Kelly 
William Holtermann 
Augustus Laufkotter 
R. F. Barry (1851) 
Dr. L. B. Ganahl 
Louis Ottenad 
Tas. Duggan 
Kaspar Brinkmann 
Marshall P. San- 

Jos. E. Elder 
John E. Fore 
J. C. Barlow 
Doctor Cornyse 

Hugh Ewing 
Wm. Linton 
James Ryan 
Christopher H. 

Peter Conklin (1856) 
John O'Brien 
Michael Lynch (1857) 
P.H. Heaman (1858) 
H. J. Spaunhorst 
Augustine Varty 
Francis Denning 
John S. Healy 
Graham S. Hughes 
J. Pillsbury 
J. Charleston 
George Killian 
James Riordan 
M. Mitchell 

D. G. Jones 
Stephen Moriarty 
Patrick Fox (1859) 
Wm. Dunning 
James B .Clancy 
Peter S. Dowling 
W. J. Brownson 
J. Gregory 
John O'Keefe 
Michael O'Fallon 
D. Provenchere 

Wm. Roche 
Patrick Lynch 
Wm. Crow 
Philip Karst 
David Breen 
Peter Barsle 
Christ. J. Caffrey 

2 Dr. Linton wa.s the first editor of "The St. Louis Medical and Surgical 
Journal" published by Dinnies and Radford. Monthly at $2.00 per annum. This 
was the first Medical Journal published West of the Mississippi. Cf. Catholic 
Cabinet, St. Louis, 1843, Vol. 1, No. 3. 


man of no religious convictions. In the year 1842 he was invited to 
fill a professorship in the medical department of St. Louis University. 
Two years later he became a Catholic and the following year was 
chosen as the first President of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He 
was a man of much learning and a ready writer. The sincerity of his 
religion and the spirit that animated his work in behalf of the poor is 
well shown in a poem which he wrote and read at one of the early meet- 
ings. I shall give but the first four verses : 

We are not here to secure 

Our ease or earthly gain 
We league together not to please 

The senses proud and vain, 
To dig for gold, nor dive to seek 

The treasure of the Main. 

We come together not to build 

The monuments of pride, 
To speed the rushing ships of trade 
Across the stormy tide, 
Nor set up banks which twice a year 

Large dividends divide. 

To wait upon the Lord of Heaven 

Within the prison wall, 
To shield from cold His sacred form, 

To answer hunger's call. 
And make His bed of sickness soft 

And share His sorrows all ; 

To seek Him out in squalid huts 

And miseries' wretched lairs, 
To whisper to Him words of hope, 

To charm away His cares. 
To soothe with genial wine and oil 

The bruises that he bears." 

He remained an active member of the Society until his death, 1872. 

Judge O'Neil, one of the charter members of the Cathedral Coun- 
cil, in a paper read in 1882, declares that it was to the ever attentive 
amiable and gentle Father Ambrose Heim. that the Society was much' 
indebted for its success. He was its first Spiritual Director, and each 
Thursday evening found him present. His reports were usually the 
longest, and his expenditures in behalf of the poor were invariably 
the greatest. To relieve distress, to assuage sorrow, to comfort and 
console the afflicted was the aim and the object of his life. He died in 
1854, and above his quiet resting place in Calvary on a simple slab 
erected by the members of the Society we find written the terse vet 
eloquent epitaph : ■' 

Father Ambrose J. Heim "The priest of the poor." 


The Society which these noble men founded was quickly put into 
operation. At the first meeting two visitors were appointed for each 
of the four parishes of the city. John Byrne and Dr. Anderson were 
appointed for St. Vincent's; John Everhart and Rev. Ambrose Heim 
for the Cathedral ; George Reidinam and John Ennis for St. Francis 
Xavier's; James C. Bury and M. O'Keefe for St. Patrick's. It was the 
duty of these to visit and report any cases of distress in the various 
parishes. It seems, however, that this system of relief proved too slow 
for the zealous members of our first St. Vincent de Paul Society ; so 
at the third meeting some two weeks later it was decided that a certain 
amount of the funds to be distributed each week was to be placed into 
the hands of one of the visitors for each parish and he was to use the 
funds for the immediate relief of the distressed, regardless of color or 
creed, to be found in his district. Full reports of expenditures were made 
at each succeeding meeting. This system continued for some months. 
In May of the following year Rev. John Higginbotham, an assistant 
priest at the Cathedral, was appointed as a committee of one to visit 
the Pastors of the various churches of the city to solicit their coopera- 
tion and ask them to be the distributors of the funds within their re- 
spective territories. From this time the Pastors assumed a more helping 
attitude and the Conference grew in numbers and activities. 

Dr. Linton served two years as President before giving way to 
Mr. Bryan Mullanphy who continued in the Chair until the Autumn 
of 1849. It was during the Summer of 1849 that St. Louis was visited 
by the terrible scourge, the Asiatic Cholera, and it was especially during 
this plague that the spirit of the St. Vincent de Paul Sodalists was 
sorely tried. They met the test courageously, and fulfilled their self- 
imposed duties faithfully; and none entered into the work before them 
with more zeal than the worthy President. Daily in the wards of the 
hospitals, amidst the dying and the dead and the infected poor and 
in all places where kind words and help were needed, this little band 
led by Judge Mullanphy went, prompted, as he was heard to say, by 
conscientious duty as member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. 

During the decade and a half following, the presidency was occu- 
pied by these worthy gentlemen: Dr. Linton, 1849, 1850, 1851; John 
Haverty 1852, 1853; John Bvrne Jr. 1854, 1859, 1860; Joseph O'Neil 
1855; Francis Saler 1856; John Amend 1857; H. J. Spaunhorst 1858; 
Dr. E. H. Gregory 1861 ; James McGuire 1862. McGuire's name con- 
tinues in the records until 1878. 

The Cathedral Conference was the only one established in St. 
Louis until 1858, when Dr. L. Silliman Ives, a convert to the Faith, 
delivered a stirring lecture, in the Mercantile Library Hall, on the 
works of the Society and strongly urged the erection of more Con- 
ferences. As the result of his efforts St. Francis Xavier's Parish at 
once organized an independent Conference. This example was soon 
followed by others. Year after year witnessed the establishment of 
new Councils. At present our fair city boasts of seventy. 


With the multiplication of the Conferences and the establishment 
of the Particular Council in 1860, with Dr. T. L. Papin as its first 
President, the Cathedral Conference lost much of its importance. The 
number of its members was greatly decreased by transfers to other 
branches, and those members still remaining seem to have lost much 
of their zeal and gradually grew lax in their charitable activities. The 
Conference slowly declined and in the minutes of a meeting of the 
Particular Council June 28, 1878, we find recorded the first symptoms 
of its disintegration. "The Cathedral has $25.00 on hand, but at- 
tendance has fallen off greatly." This was followed by another even 
more discouraging report of Nov. 29th of the same year. 'The Cathe- 
dral has discontinued meetings, but has on hand $20.00." These two 
reports, though short, tell us a great deal. The Mother Conference 
was strugghng, dangerously near the death point, while her prosperous 
children indifferently looked on. The Conference struggled on, however, 
and a financial report of 1882, showing receipts and expenditures of 
more than $400,00, clearly indicates that it was far from defunct. 

On January 18, 1885, at a regular meeting of the Particular Coun- 
cil it was moved that "the Presidents of the Annunciation, St. John's, 
St. Mary's and the St, Francis Xavier Conferences be constituted a 
committee to extend their respective parochial lines for Conference 
purposes so as to join all territory in the Cathedral Parish not occu- 
pied at present by a Conference, and report such change of lines to 
this Council for approval." The following division was announced at 
the next meeting, Feb. 25, 1885, "St. Mary's Conference takes the 
territory from Poplar St. to Locust St. East of 2nd St. — Annunciation 
takes the territory from Poplar to Market St. and from 2nd to 6th 
St. — St. John's takes the territory from Poplar to Market, west of 
6th St. — St. Francis Xavier takes the territory north from Market 
and West from 2nd." Records are lacking to show to what extent these 
neighboring Conferences actually carried on their work of charity in 
the districts mentioned. If this division accomplished nothing more, 
it at least aroused the parishioners of the Cathedral from their lethargy 
and a short time after we find the St. Vincent de Paul Society of the 
Parish in a flourishing condition with Mr. Cornelius Collins as its 

Mr. Collins resigned and was succeeded by Mr. Francis Fisher 
Nov. 20, 1890. The history of the next twenty-five years is a history 
of alternate enthusiasm and lethargy. We find in the minutes of the 
Particular Council for the meeting of Oct. 28, 1891. "Mr. McElrath 
reports through Mr. Quirk, the one remaining member of the Cathedral 
Conference, a debt of $15.00. The President announces that he would 
endeavor to reestablish this Conference." The following meeting the 
Cathedral reported with a membership of twenty. And thus we find 
recorded from time to time revivals only to be followed by periods 
of listless activity. 

Upon the death of Mr. Fisher, 1910, Mr. James L. Smith as- 
sumed the office of President of the Old Cathedral St. Vincent de Paul 


Society. His reports to the Upper Council often ran something like 
this : "Pres. James L. Smith ; Secretary, James L. Smith, Treasurer, 
James L. Smith; Average attendance at meetings, 2. (Father Eugene 
Coyle the Spiritual Director usually attended). Number visiting the 
poor, 1. (Signed) James L. Smith." 

In the Autumn of 1915, Rev. J. J. Tannrath, having been appointed 
pastor of the Old Cathedral, called together the men of the parish and 
reorganized the Society, with Mr. J. P. Collins as President, Mr. 
Nicholas Laughlin Vice-President, to be succeeded within a few months 
by Mr. James L. Smith; Mr. Isaac Conran, Secretary; Mr. Patrick 
O'Donnell, Treasurer; Rev. J. J. Tannrath, Spiritual Director. Upon 
the death of Mr. Patrick O'Donnell, 1920, Senator Michael Kinney 
was chosen to fill the office of Treasurer. The Old Cathedral Con- 
ference today has twenty active members on its roster. Its spirit is 
the same that animated the young Council seventy-five years ago and 
its financial condition is better than at any time since it lost its "Good 
Angel" and founder Bryan MuUanphy. 




Opelousas is an Indian name — the name of a powerful tribe of 
children of the forest who lived there before the white man drew in 
upon them. Just what that name means, is to this day a moot ques- 
tion. The majority of the old inhabitants claim that Opelousa stands 
for "black leg man"; and in support of this contention, they appeal 
to a local tradition asserting that the Indians of the neighborhood 
had brown or black legs, in contrast to their rather light bodies. 

However this may be, the remarkable natural features of the 
place, its healthy location far above sea level, the wonderful fertility 
of its soil very early, it seems, attracted the attention of the Amer- 
ican aborigines, as they did attract later on that of the white man. 
Flowers in profusion, rural beauty, grassy lakes, beautiful bayous 
and majestic trees have always been there. There are evidences 
that the spot where the town now stands was once an Indian ' 
stronghold, perhaps the chief city of the Opelousas tribe. Mounds 
in the vicinity show that the savages used the present site as a favo- 
rite camping place and buried their dead in the adjoining hills. 

The first white settlement was made some two hundred years 
ago — the record of civilization beginning in 1716. Like a number 
of old towns on the Louisiana frontier, Natchitoches, or Arkansas 
Post, for instance, the town of Opelousas owes its origin to a mili- 
tary post, located near the spot where now stands the Academy of the 
Immaculate Conception. The relatively large garrison maintained 
from the beginning at this post shows the importance which the 
French governors of Louisiana attached to it. Before long people 
began to settle around the protecting walls of the post ; the garrison 
naturally patronized the little mercantile establishments clustering 
in the shadow of the Fort ; thus gradually a little village developed, 
and to this day the quaint capriciousness of the streets of Opelousas 
remains as a reminder that it grew at random and was never laid off 
as a town. The Indians, it is said, though belonging to the fierce 
Attacapan (i. e. "man-eaters") family, once so much dreaded, were 
now quite tame and friendly ; and many acres of the wonderfully 
fertile soil were placed under cultivation. When the fort was dis- 
mantled the soldiers were given the choice of returning to their 



homes or of remaining. Quite a number chose the latter alternative, 
took up a plot of land and started plantations. To these discharged 
soldiers many of the older families of Opelousas trace back their 
ancestry; others are descending from the enterprising early settlers 
who ventured to build their homes in the shadow of the stockade; 
yet others to unfortunate Acadians driven out from their northern 
homes in Nova Scotia, some of whom reached Louisiana after years 
of wandering and misery. ^ 

Did any priests minister in early years — at least occasionally — 
to the spiritual wants of the soldiers stationed at the Post? If any 
came, nothing is known of them. No record even speaks of any 
chapel existing within the palisades of the fort. Catholics these 
French soldiers were, no doubt; this does not mean, however, that 
the fort of Opelousas, any more than any other similar outpost, was 
garrisoned by the flower of Catholicity. The conditions which we 
know prevailed at the Post of Arkansas may well be regarded as 
typical. There no chapel was in existence for a number of years. 
The corruption of the French handicapped as much Father Carette 
in his ministerial work at the Post, as it has done his heroic prede- 
cessor. Father Davion. This ungodly spirit continued also after 
Father Carette was succeeded by Father Poisson. An old record 
sadly remarks: "At the fort there was no chapel, and no place where 
he could offer the holy sacrifice but a room open to all, even to the 
poultry, so that a hen once flew on the altar just as he was finishing 
Mass. Even this did not induce those in authority to erect a suitable 
chapel. His remonstrances actually led only to further derisions and 
mockery of religion." 

From the documents so far available, it appears well nigh cer- 
tain that, for many years after its establishment, the Post of Ope- 
lousas was destitute of all spiritual ministrations. 

To Father Joseph de Arazena, Pastor of Opelousas, we are in- 
debted for what is known of the beginning of organized Catholicity 
in that locality. True, there are extant some shattered remnants of 
parochial records of baptisms, marriages and funerals, antedating 
Father de Arazena's incumbency, and signed by Fray Luis del Burgo 
del Sto. Sepulcro, Fray Louis Maria Grumeau, O.P., and Father 
Gefrotin; but these early records were already in 1787 "in wretched 
state of preservation, being written on loose sheets of paper, and in 
danger of getting lost." Father de Arazena diligently gathered all 
that could be found of these hoary "papeles," and not only (did he 
preserve them with religious solicitude (they are now, and possibly 
since his time stitched together ; yet, as they are much decayed, they 
need handling with considerable care), but he translated them from 
French into Spanish and entered them in a large register. This pre- 
tentious looking tome, entitled. 

* In 1769 a party of Acadians bound for Louisiana was wrecked off the coast of Texas 
and taken to the presidio of Bahia del Espiritu Santo, now Goliad. After harsh treatment 
had been given some of the leaders, the party was sent overland to Natchitoches. Cf. Bolton, 
Athanase de Meziires and the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1768 — 1780, Vol. I, p. 131, 159, 



para el usso de esta Iglesia Parroqnial de la Imnuiciilada 

Conccpdon del PUISTO DE OPELUZAS, 

opens with a somewhat bombastic foreword, wherein the good Cap- 
uchin describes the work done by him to save the archives of the 
parish, arraigning severely, at the same time, his predecessors for 
their neglect. 

This parish church was founded in the year of our Lord seventeen 
hundred and seventy, more or less, according to the information 
furnished by persons trustworthy and of well-known honesty. Don 
Carlos III (God preserve him!) being King of Spain, Our Holy 
Father Pius VI ruling the Church Universal ; Don Bernardo Galvez 
being Governor of this Province since the transfer of the same by the 
Most Christian King to His Catholic Majesty; and being Vicar General 
to His Lordship Joseph Santiago de Echevarria y Elguesua the Right 
Rev. Bishop of Havana, Jamaica, Louisiana and the Floridas, the Right 
Rev. Cyril de Barcelona, at present Auxiliary Bishop ; who, in the Visita- 
tion he made of this Colony in the year one thousand seven hundred and 
eighty-six, ordered expressly, as is shown by the Pastoral Letter pre- 
served among the papers of our office that each Pastor should keep the 
necessary books, and in the best possible condition : which order respect- 
fully and obediently, as it meet, on account of its conformity to the spirit 
of the Church, to reason and to the right method to be observed, we 
have adopted from the time we found it possible to have the necessary 
Registers, which are the present - in order that with greater 

clearness and distinction all the entries may be made, each one in the 
respective book, where they may easily be found in case of necessity: 
in like manner as we came across the few Records which were found 
here in wretched condition and on loose sheets of paper, exposed to the 
danger of being lost, as was the case of those of Father Valentin. O.M.C., 
the first pastor, whose writings we have not been able to see, though 
all diligence was used to find them; we have undertaken the work of 
copying over and translating herein in Spanish, which is the predomi- 
nating language among us, all these scattered records, to which trans- 
lation and copy entire faith and authority shall attach even more than 
to the originals, which are teeming with substantial defects, as may be 
realized by whosoever takes the trouble to consult them : we hope that 
God, for whom alone we undertake this work on behalf of the people, 
who will appreciate it all the more than they know it, will give us 
strength to pursue this painful task undertaken in order to remedy the 
defects of our predecessors : so that those who come after us shall have 
less trouble than he who. so to say, entered to clear up this land untilled 
and full of brambles. Opelousas March 15, 1787. 

Fr. Joseph de Arazena, O.M.C, 

The good Capuchin rector certainly did excellent work in col- 
lecting, copying and translating the old scattered records of his pre- 
decessors, even though well might he have been more brief, and 
have made use of less stilted language in informing us of his titles 
to our gratitude. At all events, from the tangled maze of his words 
emerges one historical assertion of the highest importance : Opelousas 
was erected into a parish about 1770, and its first pastor was Father 

A word illegible. 


Valentin, O.M.C. The good Father cites his authorities for the date 
of the foundation — they are clearly old inhabitants of the town, 
"trustworthy persons," he says, "and of undoubted honesty." We 
may Lake his M'ord for this information; all the more so that the 
report of Father Philibert Francis Watrin, S.J., to Propaganda 
(1765),^ which, though concise, aims at completeness, makes no men- 
tion of any Parish at Opelousas. It seems probable that, up to 1770, 
the settlement was for years an out-mission first of Pointe Coupee, 
and, later on, of St. Martin des Attacapas. 

The first church was, as may be expected, a plain, simple, little 
chapel, so small indeed that only a few people, it is said, could 
attend divine worship. This little chapel, dedicated to St. Landry, 
was built "on the Bayou" ; its exact location, however, has long been 
the object of much controversy. Father J. Frangois Raymond who 
was in the parish for thirty-five years, was much inclined to believe 
the church was situated in or near the present town of Washington. 
In support of this contention, he appealed to some information 
gathered, some sixty years ago, from some old people who had come 
from Nova Scotia (Acadians). Washington, in the old days, was 
called Negroville, for the reason that many negroes made their 
homes there. The name Bayou Tesson, associated with the first 
church, renders this opinion improbable, as the Bayou which bears 
that name runs through Opelousas and does not go as far north as 
Washington. Furthermore, the Register of Funerals bears for the 
year 1798 a note, written in Father Barriere's (1813-1817) character- 
istic hand, which reads as follows : 

During this year the present church was removed from the Bayou, 
(he spells "Baillou.") to the "Pointe a M. Tesson." Mr. Michael Prud- 
homme, a native of the neighborhood of Strassburg, France, donated 
gratuitously three arpents of land by forty in length, and Mr. Tesson, 
a native of Xaintonge, gave one. 

We find that the donation of land was made October 16, 1796; 
but Father Barriere either was misinformed, or expressed himself 
inaccurately as to its extent. Mrs. — not Mr. — Tesson's donation was 
one arpent wide by fourteen in length, and, continuing this picee of 
property were the forty arpents given by Prudhomme. The proba- 
bility is that the first church was located on the Bayou Tesson, at a 
very short distance from the present site; in 1798 it was moved to 
the point of the same name. 

If Father Valentin was the first permanent pastor of Opelousas, 
his sojourn in that parish was certainly very brief, for we find him, 
on April 19, 1772, at Arkansas Post, where he performed a baptism,* 
subscribing himself in the Register: "Fr. Valentin, Capucin Cur^ de 

• Archives of Propaganda. Scrittiire Referite nei Congressi. Codice I. America Set- 
tentrionale. Dal Canada all'Istmo di Panama. Dal 1673 a tto. il 1778. 

* Register of Baptisms of the Post of Arkansas. The entry is accompanied by the follow- 
ing note, written in the margin on July 9, 1786: "Collation6 par Nous, Fr. Louis Guignes, 
refigieux Franciscain cure de la Parroisse Ste Genevieve." 


la Paroisse de St. Louis des Illinois." He was then undoubtedly on 
his way to his new field of labor, as Unzaga's Report of the re- 
ligious conditions of Louisiana, dated July 11, 1772, mentions him 
as being in the "parish of San Luis de los Ilinnesses, at the place 
commonly called Pancorto." ^ As Father Valentin is recorded as 
being in the State of Louisiana as early as 1762, it is, therefore, quite 
possible that he served as chaplain to the post of Opelousas for some 
time before the erection of the latter into a parish. 

His successor was also a Capuchin, Father Luis del Burgo del 
Santo Sepulcro, or rather perhaps, Louis Dubourg, as he was a 
Frenchman, and belonged to the Capuchin Province of Champagne. 
He remained in Opelousas until his death which occurred in either 
1777 or 1778; his body was buried in the first church on the banks 
of the Bayou Tesson. 

A Dominican friar succeeded him. Father Marie Louis Grumeau. 
In his first entry in the Parish Register (as copied by de Arazena), 
dated in 1779, he signs himself "Cur6," a clear evidence he was reg- 
ularly appointed. All his entries were made in French, in spite of 
the fact that the Spanish authorities had ordered all records to be kept 
in Spanish. It seems probable that Father Grumeau, at the same 
time as he was "Cure" of Opelousas, was also, at least for a while, 
in charge of the Parish of Pointe Coupee ; for his name appears in the 
records of that parish during the years 1781-1783. He, like his 
predecessor, died in Opelousas, and his remains were laid alongside 
of those of Father Luis del Burgo, in the miniature church on Bayou 

Following Father Grumeau's death, the pastor of the Attakapas, 
Father Gefrotin,^ was placed in charge of the parish of Opelousas, 
on February 9, 1785. His last entry in the Parish Books bears the 
date April 16, 1785. 

The next incumbent was that Father Joseph de Arazena, O.M.C., 
already mentioned above, whose name appears for the first time in 
the Baptism Register on July 24, 1785. It seems he had succeeded 
Father Valentin as Parish Priest of St. Gabriel's, on February 25, 
1781 ; and on November 12, 1784, we find him in charge of the 
Church of the Purisima Concepcion, at Mobile, Ala. His zeal in pre- 
serving valuable records which otherwise might have been lost or 
destroyed, has been sufficiently expatiated upon. His patient efforts 
to place the entries of his predecessors in correct chronological order 
were usually successful. When he had almost come to a close, how- 
ever, with the copying of the entries of 1782, suddenly he stumbled 
upon twenty or more of the preceding year. Here was for his pa- 
tience and love of order a sore trial ; for rather than to mutilate the 
huge tome of which he had already filled a score of pages with his 

» Louis Houck. History of Missouri. Vol. II, p. 306, n. 48. 

° Ilis bantisinal name is unknown and never mentioned in his records either at St. Marti 
TJlle or at Opelousas. 


large handwriting, he had to resign himself to enter these records 
after those of the following year. But he would not have us ignor- 
ant that this incongruity was due to no fault of his: 

Note — says he — that the entries are out of place; that we have well 
nigh broken our head — pucheramos la cabeca — in setting in order papers 
which could not be placed properly ; and that, let it be well understood 
from now on and for evermore, we are in no wise responsible for such 
incongruities ; also that we sacrificed enough of both our time and our 
patience in undertaking a work which should have been accomplished 
— evaquada — by others. 

St. Landry was, to this son of Spain, too French and plain a title 
for the parish : henceforth it was to be known as the Iglesia Parroquial 
de la hnmaculada Concepcion del Puisto de Opelnzas. So loyal was 
Arazena to his mother contry and to its laws regarding the discipline 
of the Church, that he actually felt he had to make excuses, in a 
marginal note to a marriage record, for having permitted the entry to 
be made in the French language : 

NOTE that the second last entry was made in French, contrary to 
our usual custom — contro miestra usso costumbre — , because at the time 
of the celebration of said wedding we were seriously ill, and conse- 
quently placed in the absolute impossibility of writing this act myself. 
Hence I was obliged to make use of the instrumentality of a person 
who was ignorant of our idiom, being compelled to accommodate myself 
to time and circumstances. This, however, is mere accident, and does 
not alter the substance of' the act, which I have signed. 

May 27, 1798, is the date of the last entry — the Record of a 
Funeral — made by Father de Arazena. Father Pedro de Zamora, 
his successor had already arrived. Father Zamora seems to be 
the first secular priest to have charge of the parish. He had 
accompanied the Marquis de Casa Calvo to Louisiana. A note in 
the Baptism Register gives us the date of his arrival : "I took 
charge," he says, "of this church of Opelousas on the fifth day of 
May, 1789." As his last written record was entered on June 24, 
1801, his pastoral activity in Opelousas extended over the space of 
twelve years. It seems that after his departure from the parish he 
became a military chaplain ; at any rate John G. Shea mentions, 
as one of the last acts of the Very Rev. Thomas Hassett, that, "on 
the 11th of April, 1804, he gave faculties to the Rev. Peter de 
Zamora, who had been assigned as chaplain to a Louisiana regi- 
ment (of Spanish soldiers) on its way to Pensacola." "^ 

Father Zamora had a beautiful handwriting and kept a very 
exact record of the parish ; all his entries are perfectly legible and 
the ink is as fresh as if it was used recently, instead of upwards of 
one hundr'ed and twenty years. 

Among the marriages celebrated and registered by him, one is 
of particular interest for the early history of Grand Coteau, namely 

' Historj' of the Catholic Church in the United States, Vol. II, p. 584 — 585. 


the marriage of Charles Smith, the founder of the last named 
parish, which on his account, was erected under the title of St. 


Monday, the thirtieth of April, I, Fr. Pedro de Zamora, have 
united in facie Ecclesiae, et coram testibus, Charles Smith, 
legitimate son of Leonard Smith and Isabelle Nil,^ natives of 
Maryland in America ; ^ and Mary Sancthi, ^° legitimate 
daughter of lorge ^^ Sancthi and Mary Cars, natives of 
America. I likewise conferred upon them the blessings of the 
Church in the presence of the witnesses whose signature is 
hereinafter, and who were the Sponsors of the above-men- 
tioned lady, who was baptized the same day, month and 
year.^2 p^. pg^ro de Zamora. *" 

(Said lady was born and raised in the Sect of Calvin) 

It was during his pastorate that the church was moved from 
its old location on the Bayou Tesson to the "Pointe a Tesson." 

Another notable event, which occurred during Father de Zam- 
ora's incumbency, is the first canonical visitation of the parish, 
made by Bishop Penal ver on October 23, 1796. Strange as it may 
seem, the Act makes no mention whatever of the Prudhomme- 
Tesson donation, which had been concluded just a week before 
(October 16) ; but it approves Father de Arazena's copy and trans- 
lation of hiiS predecessors' records, and declares them to have the 
same documentary authority as if they were the originals. A rule 
also is established in regard to marriages of non-Catholics : such 
marriages should be recorded, in the absence of a separate Book, 
in a section apart of the ordinary Marriage Register, with a cross 
reference at the proper place in the Record of Catholic marriages. 
It is ordered, moreover, that the names of paternal and maternal 
grandparents should be mentioned in all Baptismal records, — a 
regulation which, as we shall see later, was disregarded as soon as 
Louisiana was retroceded to France by the Spanish Crown. We 
subjoin here a transcript and English rendering of this important 
docimient : ^° 

Parish of St. Landry of Opelousas,^* October 23, 1796. 
In the course of the Visitation of this parish, were examined 
the three Books, to wit: of Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals, of 

• The name should be spelled 'Neal' or 'Neale'. 

• Be it remembered we are in 1792; Louisiana was then outside of the United States. 
" So writes Zamora; the name, however, as we know from better sources, was 'Sentee'. 
" Clearly 'George'. Zamora does not appear to have been at all familiar with English. 
" It is to be noted that no corresponding entry is to be found in the Register of Bap- 

" The original is in Spanish. 

'* Note that the change of title made by Father de Arazena (see above, page 19) is not 
taken into account by the Bishop, who very likely held that, great and edifying as might be 
the good Capuchin's devotion to the Immaculate Conception, it was not altogether according 
to knowledge. 


the white people; and, besides, the books of Baptisms and Marri- 
ages of the colored people, and finally the book of Funerals of the 
same since the beginning" of the Parish, which seems to have been 
in seventeen hundred and seventy. Examination was made likewise 
of many acts, which were indited in the beginning of the afore- 
mentioned Books by Father Fr. Jose de Arasena, the late pastor, 
who noted how he had collected various old loose papers, which 
were written without order or serviceableness by his predecessors 
Father Valentin, O.M.C., Fr. Luis del Burgo del Sto. Sepulero, and 
F. Louis Grumo;^'* and notwithstanding whatever defects we have 
noticed in this manuscript, which defects may come, after all, from 
the originals, we wish to give these transcripts all authority, which 
may be attributed them by law, and is usually attached to such 
original papers, in all intents and purposes for which they may 
serve; the present Pastor Fr. Pedro Zamora shall continue entering 
the records as he has been doing the above, except that, in the bap- 
tismal records of white persons, he shall put also the family and Chris- 
tian names of the grandparents, unless the parties do not know them. 
We ordain him to mention in every Act the day, month and year of 
the same, without sending back to the preceding entry ; also to enter in 
a separate quire, when there is no special Book, the marriages of Prot- 
estants, making at the proper place in the Book for Catholic marriages, 
a cross reference to the entry by a marginal note destined to indicate 
by what disposition he does it ; and he shall continue to write them in 
this quire or Register after the record of the funeral of Andrew Mon- 
don, which, owing to forgetfulness he failed to register at the proper 
place, and added afterwards on a separate paper ; and we express to 
him at the close of this decree, by this note, the satisfaction we have 
had in examining the said books. 

The Bishop of Louisiana. 

By request of His Lordship the Bishop, 

Isidore Quintero 

Pro-Secretary and Notary. 

Among the noteworthy entries of Father Zamora in the Baptism 
Register, must be mentioned the Baptism of Charles Sallier, surnamed 
"le Savoyard". There seems, however, to be a discrepancy regarding 
this name, and Father Barriere, later on, inserted a note to the effect 
that it was not "le Savoyard," but a son of Charles Anselm Sallier, 
who was baptized by Father Zamora. Charles Sallier himself and a 
Mr. Pithon, came to Opelousas from Savoy : Sallier was then a very 
young boy. Lake Charles was named in his honor after his death. 

When Louisiana and the Floridas were dismembered from the 
Diocese of Havana and erected into a separate Church, Father Zamora 
thought it advisable to devote half a page in his close handwriting to 
the proceedings at the Cathedral of New Orleans. This entry not only 
was as elaborately worded, and the language as flowery as the occasion 

He always signed his name 'Grumeau'. 


demanded, but the handwriting is made to harmonize with the text, 
and the initial R of the first word Reynando spreads itself magnificent- 
ly with a great flourish. The note reads in part as follows : 

In the reign of Sr. Don Carlos IV, King of Spain and of the Indies, 
the eighth year of his happy administration; the bark of St. Peter being 
steered by Our Most Holy Father Pius VI, in the twenty-first year of 
his Roman Pontificate; Sr. Don Juan Luis, Baron of Carondelet, Knight 
of St. John, Brigadier-General of His Majesty, being Governor of the 
Province of Louisiana ; was to the honor of God the parochial church 
of St. Louis of New Orleans erected into a cathedral, with all the 
rights appertaining thereunto.^^ . . . The first Bishop thereof is the 
Sr. Dr. Louis de Pefialver y Cardenas, who .... took possession of this 
Cathedral Church Friday> the 24th of July in the year 1795 . . ., since 
which time this colony became independent of the Bishopric of Havana, 
a thing which seems to us more convenient for our successors, for the 
reason that they may specify this circumstance in the Registers, just as 
we have begun to practice it. 

Important as the event was in itself, it was regarded perhaps more 
so by Father Zamora because of its bearing upon parochial archives. 
Under the Spanish regime, indeed, pastors were required to repeat in 
every entry their own names and titles, the name of the church and 
of the Diocese to which they belonged. 

Father Louis Buhot succeeded Zamora on July 4, 1801, and re- 
mained in Opelousas until his death which occurred on June 23. 1813. 

During his administration, Louisiana was ceded back to France, 
only to become shortly afterwards part of the United States. Buhot's 
joy of belonging to France once more was boundless,^^ and he devoted 
a special entry to this happy event. He writes in Spanish : 

"Aqui sc acaba lo q.l pertcnece al Gobienio Bspanol." i^ 
and adds in Latin : 

"Sic transit gloria miindi . . . " ^^ 

and on the following page he continues, in French : 

Here begins the French Government whose taking possession of 
this post on the i8th of December of this year 1803, has filled \vith joy 
the heart of all true Frenchmen who form the majority of fhe inhabit- 
ants of Opelousas. 

" This practically contemporary record of the erection of the church of St. I.ouis, in 
New Orleans, into the Cathedral of the new See, had it been known later, would have set 
to naught the pretensions of Father Anthony de Sedella. Rishop Du Bourg (Letter of 
January 30, 1826, to Archbishop Caprano, Secretary of Propaganda) strongly suspected either 
him or the Trustees of the Cathedral of having done away with the Bull of erection of 
the See. 

" It is difficult to reconcile Buhot's imrepressed feeling of joy with the statement of 
J. G. Shea {History of the Catholic Church in the United States, Vol. II. p. 582). that in 
reply to he circular of Hassett, of June 10, 1803. to the priests of Louisiana, to ascertain 
whether they wished to retire with the Spanish forces, or remain in Louisiana, Buhot declared 
he was for following the Spanish standard. In support of this assertion. Shea sends, in a 
footnote, to a letter of Buhot to Ilassett. in date of October 15. 1803. 

" "Here ends that which belongs to the Spanish Government." 

" "Thus passeth away the glory of the world." 


That same day, December 18, 1803, a Baptismal record is entered 
in the French language, — the first since Fr. Gefrotin's time; and the 
practice was continued thereafter. With the use of the Spanish lan- 
guage in the Parish books was likewise discontinued at once the prac- 
tice recommended by Bishop Penalver of entering the names of the 
grandparents of the child baptized. ^° 

All this incensed greatly later on the ire of Father Barriere, who 
gave vent to his feelings in a few notes added in the margin of the 
Register alongside the patriotic entries of his predecessor. On Buhot's 
tearless farewell to the Spanish regime, he comments thus, also in 
Spanish : 

And here likewise ends the wise ordinance of the Right Rev. Lord 
Bishop in regard to baptismal entries. See p. 158 of the pJesent Reg- 

Sic transit memoria Boni. " 

Barriere was consistent with his principles. After Buhot's death 
he reintroduced in the records the practice of entering the names of 
the grandparents, a practice which was continued to the last moments 
of Father Rossi's incumbency. But to return to Barriere's notes, he 
continues in French : 

What can have the French refugees to reproach the Spanish Gov- 
ernment with? Nobody ever intimated it was a crime for us to have 
a French heart, or to love our motherland ; only a few hot-headed fire- 
brands were repressed ; had they had their way we would have been 
surely thrown headlong from the happiness of peace which we were 
enjoying into the horrors of anarchy [I refer here to the year 1792 etc. 
1803] from which we are fleeing! I speak only of Louisiana; I don't 
know whether any mischief was wrought elsewhere. We were expelled 
from our country. The government of Louisiana received us with 
open arms ! 

And, on the following page, commenting on Buhot's enthusiasm 
over the return of the French regime in Louisiana, Barriere, deter- 
mined on having the last word, adds : 

This electric moment was of short duration, happily for this coun- 
try: for Mr. Clement Laussat and his clique began very badly, and 
finally decamped incognito. No matter how intense the joy experienced 
by the author (Buhot) it ought never to have blotted out from his heart 
the tender memory of the sacred rights of so generous a hospitality. 
. . . . Tu quoqtte mi Bruthe. 

Buhot took sick in the summer of 1813, and died on July 23, at 
the age of forty-four. The following is the record of his burial, as 
found in the Book of Funerals : 


In the year one thousand eight hundred and thirteen, on the twenty- 
fourth of July, was buried in the sanctuary of this Church, in front of 
the lowest step of the altar, the body of Dom Louis Buhot, priest and 

2« See above, p. 21. 

" Barriere's cross-reference is to the Visitation Ordinance of Bishop Penalver. 

** "Thus passeth away the memory of the good." 


Rector of this Parish born in the Province of Normandy, Diocese of 
Lisieux, deceased on the previous day in the house of Mr. Lastrape, at 
the age of forty-four or thereabout. In testimony v^^hereof I have 
signed, together with witnesses, on the twenty-ninth of the above- 
mentioned month and year. 

Gabriel isabey. Pastor of the Attakapas 

R[aphael] smith. Witness 


Later on Father Barriere added in the margin and below this 
entry this comment : 

It is worthy of note that out of six priests who in succession la- 
bored in this parish since its foundation, three died whilst exercizing 
the ministry here, and all three bore the Baptism :iame of Louis. This 
circumstance seemed to me to make a deep impression on Father Buhot 
during his last illness. "Two died here who were called Louis," he then 
said to me. "As my name is Louis, it is quite likely that I shall not 
recover." The first Louis was a Capuchin.^s who died in 1778; the sec- 
ond, a Dominican Friar,^* whose demise occurred in 1782; both were 
buried in the old church on the "Baillou," -^ which was the first church 
of the parish. 

The letters which he -^ received from his parents were dated from 
Danestal, Department of Calvados, near the river named La Touque. 
Mig.l Bernd.o barriere Priest 

Approved for the whole Diocese and 
at present in charge of this parish. 

Father Michael Bernard Barriere never styled himself pastor of 
Opelousas, btit clung to his formidable-looking title of "priest approved 
for the whole Diocese and at present in charge of this parish" ; how- 
ever, as he administered the parish, no matter with what title, for a 
period of well nigh six years (1813-1819), we may well be justified in 
giving him a place among the Rectors of St. Landry. He was no tiro, 
being on the Louisiana missions since 1794. Even before coming 
South, he had tasted for a few months missionary life in the wilds of 
Kentucky, wither he had come in company with Father Badin ; but, 
after four months he concluded he was unfitted for the ministry in 
the backwoods, and abandoning the field, he, in April 1794, set out for 
New Orleans in a periaguar'' For well-nigh twenty years he served in 
various parishes of the South, where he, no doubt, developed that love 
of order which shines forth in all his records, written in a large, very 
clear handwriting, and also that originality which transpires through 
the notes added here and there in the margin of his predecessors' 
entries, spreading at times an air of romance over the sternness of 
their official syle. 

We had already occasion above to cite some of these notes. On«» 
of the most lengthy and interesting is found on p. 90 of the Registet 
of Baptisms, in the margin of the Baptism record of Bridget (Brigida) 
Gradenigo and her twin-sister Eulalia Rousseau Gradenigo, under date 

•• Fray Luis del Burgo. 

** Father Louis Grumeau. 

•• Barriere always spelled 'Baillou,' for Bayeu. 

•« Father Buhot. 

»' Shea. Op. cit., Vol. II, p. 455. 


of January 17, 1789. John Gradenigo — or rather Don Juan de 
Gradenigo, as Barri^re styles him — , the father of these children, was 
under the Spanish government majordomo or president of the trustees 
of the church of the Immaculate Conception ; and in this capacity his 
name appears on the Church Register, January 31, 1796, as giving 
receipt of the church revenues to Father Zamora. Barriere's note (in 
French) reads as follows : 

All the persons mentioned in this book under the name of Grade- 
nigo belong to the same family, namely, the family of the same name in 
the Senate of Venice. This Don Juan de Gradenigo is the brother of 

Ambassadors. Senators, and others, in particular, of the V. Rev 

Gradenigo, Canon of St. Mark, Venice, who died seven or eight years 
ago. This is a fact absolutely beyond doubt, as my brother, who kept 
up a correspondence with Venice, used to serve as intermediary, sending 
me the letters which I handed to said Don Juan de Gradenigo. In 1356 
one Juan Gradenigo was Doge of Venice (See Ecclesiastical History of 
Fleury, i2mo., p. 154). 

This worthy gentleman had travelled through all Europe and the 
two Americas, and, having come finally to Mobile, as he became en- 
amoured with the virtues and charms of Miss Kraps,^** of a German 
family, married her at Mobile and remained in this country. The Rev. 
Martin Duralde and myself were his intimate friends; still we never 
attempted to pry into the mystery of his emigration to Louisiana. He 
died here and was buried the first of March, 1809. 

A son, Antonio Donato, born to the couple in December 1781, was 
baptized at Opelousas on November 7, 1782. When he reached the 
years of his youth, Barriere again tells us, he was sent to relatives in 
Venice, probably to receive an education for which there was no op- 
portunity in Louisiana. But when Bonaparte — Barriere writes Bouena- 
parte — set out on his Egyptian expedition (1798), young Antonio 
Donato ran away from the City of Lagoons to follow the Corsican to 
the land of the Pharaohs. After this escapade, no news, except a 
vague report of his death, ever reached his anxious parents in Ope- 
lousas.2^ Direct descendants of John Gradenigo still reside at Opelous- 
as, and are numbered among the prominent families. Others settled 
in the neighborhood, and we find their names in the records of 
St. Martin, Grand Coteau and Lafayette. 

Romance of another kind — indeed of various kinds — is found in 
some other records. Under the date of July 29, 1797, Zamora had 
entered the record of the Baptism of "Nanzi Nikson" .-^^ jn the margin 
we read : 

This one was, I think, baptized twice; for I baptized her down 
Bayou Teche ;3i the mother's name is and the maternal grand- 
mother's. Sale 33 Holsten. Those people came (,Cela znentH) from 
Natchez, barriere. Priest. 

" The name is spelled 'Kreps' in various entries. 

" Barriere's note containing the story of Antonio Donato Gradenigo is dated 1814. 

»• The first name is evidently 'Nancy,' whatever may be the true spelling of the family 
name. We already remarked above that Zamora had a hard fight with English names. So 
•lie apparently had Barriere. 

" The text bears in characteristic BarriSre fashion, 'Baillou Tech.' 

" Probably 'Choate'. 

" Evidently 'Sallie'. 


On April 18, 1814, Miguel Bernardo Barriere (for so he persist- 
ently signed himself, despite the fact he was a Frenchman) received 
the consent into matrimony of Hubert Le Jeune and Celestine Fonte- 
nau. A feature of this record strikes at once as a departure from the 
set protocolar formula: for mention is made in the act of the consent 
of the parents. The puzzle is solved on the next page, where on 
a separate paper, pasted on the Register we decipher these words 
scrawled by a hand as unskilled in writing as in spelling: 

We give our consent to Celes[tine] our daughter to marry Hubert 
Le Jeune and beg the Rev. Barriere to unite them in matrimony. 

Jacques Fontenaux Baptiste Jeansonne 

Rosali[e] <i>^* Jeansonne Jean Jeansonne 

Whereupon Barriere remarks : 

The girl had been abducted from her parents' house, though she was 
brought back and pardoned before the marriage ; this is why I required 
the parents' consent in writing and signed by them and two witnesses, 
who are the grandfather and an uncle of the girl. 

With such a stern and watchful guardian of the flock, who would 
not brook any trifling with the Church's 

Raptavc sit mulier nee parti reddita tutae, 

elopements — for the pardon besought by and granted to the girl clearly 
points to a case of elopement, rather than of actual abduction (raptus) 
— must have been rare ; still we meet a few months later, Jan. 22, 1815, 
with another case ; here as in the instance just mentioned, a paper 
pasted on the Register informs us that Elizabeth Le D^, widow of 
John Baptist Roujot, has given her consent to the marriage of her 
daughter Genevieve (spelled Jea7ie Vieve) to Lucas Fontenau, whom 
she pardoned for the abduction of her daughter. 

Paullo majora canamus. During Father Barriere's rectorship the 
Very Rev. William Louis Du Bourg, then Administrator Apostolic of 
Louisiana, made the visitation of the parish, inditing his Ordinance as 
usual in the Register of Baptisms : 

We, William Louis Valentine du bourg. Administrator Apostolic 
of the Diocese of Louisiana, 

Being actually engaged in the pastoral Visitation of this Parish of 
St. Landry of the Opelousas : approve the manner in which the Parish 
Registers are kept; regret to find the church property and the Rectory 
grounds so badly fenced, and the church itself in such a wretched con- 
dition in so far as the roof is concerned; urge strongly upon the Trus- 
tees to make without delay the necessary repairs. 

Given at Opelousas, on the 23d of October 1814. 

Wm. DU BOURG Adm. Apost. 
By request 

Mig.l Bernd.o barriERE Secret, ad hoc. 

** The cross is the mark made by the person, who was unable to write her name; the 
name itself was written by the same hand which, penned the text. 


The next day, October 24, the Administrator went to the house 
of Dr. Raphael Smith, brother of Charles Smith, of Grand Coteau, 
where he baptized Charles, a son of the Doctor, born October 10; 
the sponsors being Charles Smith and his wife Mary Sentee Smith, 
the future founders of the parish of St. Charles du Grand Coteau. 

From August 24 to October 5, 1817, all the entries made in the 
Parish books bear the signature of Don Flavins H. Rossi, who signs 
himself "Curate of the Church of St. Martin des Attakapas, in charge 
of the parochial Church of Opelousas." Father Barriere must have 
been engaged in another field of labor. Once more Rossi was in 
charge from December 27, 1817 to the end of June 1818, after which 
period are recorded fourteen Baptisms signed by Father Barriere and 
countersigned by Father Rossi "Cur6 desservant," that is, apparently 
"Pro-Rector." Nearly one more year elapsed ere Father Rossi was 
definitely appointed Pastor. His letter of appointment, dated from 
St. Louis, March 3, 1819, states that the parish had been vacant for 
some fifteen months. He was installed on May 2, 1819, as we learn 
from our oft-cited Baptism Book : 

In the year one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, on the second 
day of May, I, the undersigned, Gabriel Isabey, Rector of the -Parish 
of St. Martin of the Attakapas, by order of the Right Rev. Bishop of 
Louisiana, having betaken myself to the Parish of St. Landry of the 
Opelousas, have, in the presence of Messrs. John Baptist Jansonne, 
president (by interim) in the absence of Mr. J. Dupre, Luck Lesossier, 
Dupreton Dejean, Philip Richard and B. Vanhill, trustees of said parish 
constituted in assembly presided by one of them in the absence of the 
(ordinary) 35 president, read to them the document instituting canonical- 
ly the Rev. Don Flavins Joseph Rossy^s Rector of this Parish. After 
the reading of the aforesaid letter of institution, the said Gentlemen of 
of the Board of Trustees, both in their own name and in the name of 
the inhabitants whom they represent, have received said Don Flavins 
Joseph Rossy as their lawful Rector, promising and pledging themselves 
to vest in him all the rights and advantages accrueing from his office, 
in the same manner as they were vested in his predecessors. A transcript 
of the said letter of institution being entered, at my request, in the Parish 
Register, I have signed hereinafter, together with the President and 
members of the Board of Trustees. 

Two years later Bishop Du Bourg was once more in Opelousas 
for the canonical visitation of the Parish. He was coming from 
Grand Coteeau where he had held an anniversary for the repose of 
the soul of the late Charles Smith.^^ This canonical visitation took 
place March 11 (1821). The Bishop was accompanied by Father 
Louis Sibourd, his Vicar General, and the Rev. Marcel Borella, then 
assistant to Father Isabey, of St. Martin. The ordinances drawn up 
at the close of the visitation, shed some light on the actual condition 
of things in the Parish. 

" This word was added in the margin. 

" He always signed 'Flavius H. Rossi'; his second name was Henry, not Joseph. 
»' Died April 1, 1819. He is buried in the church of St. Charles du Grand Coteau, ia 
front of St. Ann's chapel. 


On the eleventh of March one thousand eight hundred and twenty- 
one, I, the undersigned, Bishop of Louisiana, have made my Episcopal 
Visitation of the Church of St. Landry of the Opelousas, accompanied 
by the Rev. Louis Sibourd, my Vicar General, and the Rev. Marcel 
Borella, assistant-pastor at St. Martin of the Attacappas. I have con- 
firmed only some forty adults, the great distances preventing many 
others who have been prepared, to come for the ceremony. I have 
found a great deal of improvement in the dispositions of this parish; 
but ignorance is still causing much harm in it. This evil cannot be 
remedied except by means of the missions which may be eventually 
established in the places most distant from the church : but until it is 
possible to send another priest to relieve the pastor of part of his im- 
mense burden, it were useless to fix anything definitely in this regard. 
I recommend only to the pastor to visit as often as he is able the most 
distant places and to multiply there familiar instructions on the most 
important points of Christian Doctrine, particularly to the children. I 
have insisted vvith the Reverend Pastor, the Trustees and the parish- 
ioners assembled in the Church, that they should in earnest consider the 
ways and means of building a new church, of brick, and of such size 
as to meet the needs of so numerous a parish. I had the consolation 
of seeing in them the greatest zeal for this undertaking. I leave with 
the hope to see it soon under way. The parish Registers ought to be 
kept with greater care. 

4. L. WM. Bp. of Louisiana 

L. SIBOURD. Vic. Gen. Marcel borelIvA, priest. 

It were unjust to understand the Bishop's comment on the ignor- 
ance prevaiHng especially among the inhabitants living at a distance 
from the center of the church, as a rebuke to the remissness in duty 
of the pastor. Since the foundation of the parish Opelousas had 
always been singularly blessed with spiritual shepherds who generously 
"spent and were spent" for their flock, f^ and Father Rossi was not 
the man to abandon this tradition of unquenchable zeal, and tireless 
apostolic rambles through the immense parish confided to him. But 
just imagine: One priest, and the territory to be covered reaching, 
even after the division of the parish, and the foundation of the church 
of Grand Coteau in 1819, from the Atchafalaya to the Sabine River, 
with the nearest priest to the northwest (there was none north), at 
Natchitoches, a distance, in straight line, of more than one hundred 
miles ! 

It must be acknowledged, though, that the prelate's stricture 
touching the care of the Register was far from undeserved. Father 
Rossi, at best, wrote wretchedly, and besides, his records exhibit very 
often evident signs of haste and slovenliness. How well he knew 
French, we have no means of ascertaining; but it is clear that he was 
often at sea when he had to record names pronounced in Creole 
fashion. Even his spelling of Christian names is frequently baffling. 
We cite at random: Celste (=Celeste; but this may be a mere case 

•» Just an instance, among others, revealed by the Baptism Register. A missionary ex- 
cursion, undertaken by Father Barriere towards the middle of November, 1813, resulted in 
no less than eighteen baptisms. By means of the entries, copied after his return home, we 
can follow the pastor, who, be it remembered, was no longer in the prime of youth, through 
the "Prairie Mamou," to James Campbell's, then to Mrs. Hall's, then again to Dennis Mc- 
Daniel's at the head of Bayou Chicot," hence to the place called "Baton Rouge" (this, of 
course, is not the well-known city of that name, on the Mississippi River, hut a spot on the 
outskirU of Prairie Mamou), then finally at Pierre Foret's, in tne "Praiiie Ronde." 


of oversight), Juditte (= Judith), Magdalaine (=Madeleine), Giulien 
(==JuHen; the Italian spelHng of the name is here responsible), 
Elaisa (=Elisa), Jacente (== Jacinthe), Joacen (== Joachim; Rossi 
was influenced overmuch here by the Creole pronunciation), Silven 
(^ Silvain), Ortense (== Hortense), Ellene (=Hel^ne), Chaterine 
(= Catherine), Hirene (=Ir^ne), Ihon (=Ione), gemaux (=jum- 
eaux, "twins,"), Gfms (=James), Emon (=Ayinon), etc. 

Bishop Du Bourg had strongly urged the erection of a new church. 
Had he waited just a little more before leaving Louisiana for France 
(1826), he would have seen the complete fulfilment of his wish: for 
early in 1828, there stood, a little to the east of the old frame church, 
a beautiful new edifice, of brick, too, as the Bishop had suggested. 
The consecration of this new church was one of the delights experi- 
enced by Bishop Rosati, then administrator of the New Orleans Dio- 
cese, during the Visitation tour which he made in 1827-1828 through 
Louisiana. In his private Diary he penned at once this interesting 
account of the ceremony: 


March. Saturday. Said Mass in the Convent of the Sacred Heart, at 

1. Grand Coteau. After breakfast we set out; our journey was 
made quite difficult by rain, which filled the whole prairie with 
water. At evening we reached, accompanied by Father Rossi, 
the Pastor, the rectory of St. Landry of the Opelousas. 

2. Second Sunday in Lent. Said Mass in the church. Attended 
Solemn Mass in cope. Preached in French. Confirmed 54 per- 
sons who had received holy Communion. 

After Vespers, preached in English : The Lord thy God shalt 
thou adore, and Him alone shalt thou serve. . . . These words 
are addressed to, this precept imposed upon, all creatures en- 
dowed with reason. . . . But to serve is repugnant to free men, 
to men enjoying independence; it seems to them debasing. . . . 
Americans, your freedom is a gift of God ; preserve it, fight for 
it, and defend it, if needs be, to the last drop of your blood. ... 
But shall you, because you are free, regard serving God as a 
demeaning of yourselves? This will be the subject of my ser- 
mon. Necessity of worship,, both interior and exterior ; of rev- 
elation, of one society which . . . 

3. Monday. Said Mass in the church. Saw to the getting ready 
of everything needful for the consecration. We waited in vain 
for Fathers Rosti ^^ and Peyretti ;*« both were detained at home 
by sickness. 

»* Pastor of Grand Coteau. 

*• Pastor of Lafayette. He sent the following letter of excuses to the Bishop: 
Lafayette Parish, Vermillion Ville, March 3, 1828. 
Right Reverend Dear Bishop: 

I am extremely sorry that I am unable to go to Opelousas and be present at 
the grand ceremony of the Church, owing to my eyes, which are now swollen, 
and constantly watered with tears. The remedy I am making use of, however, 
does me a great deal of good. Still the satisfaction which I experienced on 
recovering my sight cannot outweigh the sorrow which I feel to be deprived of 
the pleasure to see Your Lordship again. In these circumstances I trust Your 
Lordship will kindly excuse my absence. 

I am, with the greatest respect 
Your Lordship's 

Most humble and obedient Servant 

Laurent Peyretti, Pastor. 
(Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery) 


4. I consecrated to Almighty God, in honor of St. Landry, accord- 
ing to the rite prescribed by the Roman Pontifical, the Parish 
Church, which is entirely built of brick.^i Fathers Rossi, Pas- 
tor, and Bouillier, of the Congregation of the Mission, acted as 
assistant priests. An immense congregation was in attendance ; 
indeed last Sunday and today there were counted upwards of 
five hundred horses and thirty carriages around the church. 

A marble slab, put on the wall of the church, recalled to the 
generations to come the epoch-making event : 















The next day, Tuesday, March 5, the Episcopal visitation — this 
time rather a perfunctory procedure — took place, for the account of 
which we turn once more to the Baptism Book : 

Joseph ROSATi, by the Grace of God and of the Holy Apostolic 
See Bishop of St. Louis and Administrator of New Orleans. 

Having repaired to the Parish of St. Landry of the Opdousas for 
the Pastoral Visitation, we have been much gratified to see that, despite 
of the considerable expense caused by the building of the new church, 
the zeal of Rev. Father Rossi, Pastor of this Parish, was able to pro- 
vide for everything that is calculated to contribute to the majesty and 
splendor of divine worship. In consequence, we have found no reason 
for leaving any Ordinances, as everything is in good order. We are 
most delighted to leave here a sincere testimony of the satisfaction and 

" In the Register of Baptisms (Vol. VII) we read in this connection the following entry, 
written by the Bishop: Ego infrascriptus Joseph Rosati Congregationis Missionis Dei et 
Apostolicae Sedis gratia Episcopus S. Ludovici et Administrator Neo-Aureliae Parochialem 
Ecclesiant D.O.M. pia hujus Parochiae Opelousas liberalitate, atque indefesso Rev. D. Flavii 
Rossi zelo in honorem S. Landerici a fundamentis erectam, assistentibus RR. DD. Flavio 
Rossi Paroco, et Joanne Bouiller, solemni ritu, maxima populi frequentia, die IV Mensis 
Martii Anni MDCCCXXVIII Servatis omnibus a Pontificali Romano praescriptis consecra'A. 
In quorum omnium fidem, et ad perpetuam rei memoriam praesenlcs litteras manu nostra 
scripsimus atque subscripsimits eodem die et anno quibus supra. 

t JOSEPH Epus S. Ludovici 
Flavius Henricus ROSSI Parochus J. BOULLIER S.C.M. 

*^ Obviously an error: the te.xt should have been: IV. DIE. MARTII, or, beter, IV. 
NON. MARTI.4S, — March 4; as it stands the date indicated is, February 27. 

♦' "This Church, dedicated to Almighty God under the invocation of St. Landry, erected 
by the pious generosity of the inhabitants of Opelousas, was solemnly consecrated by the 
Right Rev. Joseph Rosati, Bp. of St. Louis and Administrator of New Orleans, on March 4, 
1828: the Rev. Flavius Rossi, of Sienna, being Pastor, and Messrs. J. Andrews, L. Garngues- 
Flangeac, J. Dupre, J. M. Debaillon, B. Vanhille, L. Lesassier and J. Miramond, Trustees.' 


pleasure which this Visitation has afforded us, not only on the score of 
what has just been mentioned, but yet much more by reason of the con- 
course of people in the Church, and the numbers of those who prepared 
to receive Confirmation, which we have administered, last Sunday, 
March 2, to 54 persons, and today, March 5, to 17. 
Given at the Rectory of St. Landry, March 5, 1828. 

4. JOSEPH, Bp. of St. Louis. 

There was one more canonical visitation during Father Rossi's 
administration of the parish. Bishop Leon de Neckere visited Ope- 
lousas on August 25, 1831. This was to him lilce renewing old acquaint- 
ances, for seven years before, as a young priest in quest of health, he 
had been for a while at Grand Coteau (September 2 to beginning of 
November 1824), next door neighbor, as it were, to Father Rossi. 
Thirteen months later there is an entry by Father Rossi to the efifect 
that "the Right Rev. Leon de Neckere baptized on September 29, 1832, 
at the convent of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart of Grand Coteau 
Marie Xavier Athanais Chretien, of the parish of St, Landry, Ope- 
lousas." Bishop De Neckere was to fall less than a year later (Sept. 
5, 1833) a victim to yellow fever. 

Of Father E. Rousselon's short term of incumbency (February 26 
to April 21, 1840) there is nothing to say. He was succeeded by 
Father Jamey (April 14, 1840 to October 7, 1842). — One year after 
the latter's arrival at Opelousas, Bp. Anthony Blanc came to Opelousas 
(May 20, 1841) for Confirmation and Visitation of the parish. In 
the Act drawn up at this occasion, the Bishop expresses great satis- 
faction at the large number of persons conjfirmed (108), and requests 
the Trustees to purchase an ostensorium and buy a more decent chalice. 
We find in the Baptism Book under date of June 28, 1842, a lengthy 
entry recording the abjuration from heresy of Miss Sinette Perry, 
which took place at the Sacred Heart Convent in Grand Coteau. This 
is the first document in which Father Jamey styles himself Vicar 
General ; his appointment to this office must have been recent ; yet he 
remained in the parish until the following October. 

After this departure we find, first as Pro-Rector, and then, as 
Rector, Father Charles F. Morachini, who remained only four weeks. 
His place was taken (Nov. 13, 1842) by Father Desgaultiers who stayed 
only about six weeks, and whose last record bears the date of Dec. 25. 

For the next six weeks, until the middle of February 1843, the 
parish was without pastor. On February 17, appears for the first lime 
on the Parish Books, the signature of Father Raviol, who was left in 
charge until January 21, 1855. These twelve years were really the 
May-day of Record-keeping in Opelousas: the Parish Registers are 
then a delight to the eye. 

It was during Ra viol's time that the parish began to have assist- 
ants. In 1848 appears the name of Father Reminger; on January 8, 
1850, that of Father Thirion, and on May 21, 1854, that of the Rev. 
A. Beaugier. As, the same year, the mission of Ville-Platte, hereto- 
fore a dependency of Opelousas, was erected into a separate parish, 


and Father Beaugier went there as the first resident pastor, the Arch- 
bishop being unable to send him a successor at St. Landry, the Rev. 
D. Hubert, S.J., from Grand Coteau came for some time to assist 
Father Raviol. 

Nine years had elapsed since the Ordinary of the Diocese had 
made the canonical visitation, when another took place. The record 
is signed, this- time, by " Hh Anthony Blanc, Archbishop of New 
Orleans," as the old Louisiana Bishopric had, meanwhile, on July 19, 
1850, been erected into a Metropolitan See, and the Bishop raised to 
the archiepiscopal dignity. Insistence is made, in very strong terms, 
on writing in full, not in figures, the dates of the various entries ; and 
whilst compliments were paid to the trustees for their compliance with 
the last visitation's ordinance concerning the remonstrance, a pointed 
remark was added to the effect that "this now makes the purchase 
of a chalice imperative." In like manner the congratulations extended 
for the praiseworthy solicitude and care displayed by the Trustees in 
keeping the church in repairs, led to pointing out the wretched state in 
which the Archbishop had found the two houses which formed the 

For the next thirty-five years the parish was in charge of the two 
brothers, V. Rev. Gilbert and Rev. J. Francois Raymond, both of whom 
had come from France in 1854. Father Gilbert's first entry appears 
January 30, 1855, and the last on March 10, 1866. Father J. Frangois, 
during these eleven years acted as assistant to his brother, and took 
charge of the parish from the time Father Gilbert was called to New 
Orleans until September 1889. The two brothers were men of great 
enthusiasm and undaunted energy. Hence theirs was truly for Ope- 
lousas an era of intense Catholicity, marked particularly by the 
foundation and development of Catholic education, the true soul build- 
er, in the old parish. 

To this end was every effort directed from the outset. At once 
an Academy for boys was put under way. The classes were taught 
at the Rectory until a special building could be erected. This was 
opened the following year under the name of St. Mary's Academy 
for Boys. The dormitory could accomodate thirty boarders and was 
taxed to its utmost capacity. Besides as many as forty day scholars 
were in attendance. Father Gilbert was President of the institution, 
with Father Frangois his assistant, and two lay teachers. The Academy 
was popular at once, because it afforded the boys of the parish a much 
coveted opportunity of receiving a commercial training at home. In 
due course the Academy expanded into a College whose influence has 
played a ;>art by no means inconspicuous in the development of Louisi- 
ana. Many men which have attained prominence in the professions or 
politics, men of no mean intellectual endowment and of deep-rooted 
and practical faith, received their education in the college. That an 
institution which proved to be such a potent factor in shaping the 
affairs of this section of Louisiana, should have cnmibled under the 
blast of adversity, is a sad ending to a beautiful story. It is to be 


hoped that a new educational center in behalf of the young men 
will, some day not far distant, arise with the renewed vigor of 
youth from the ashes of the famous old Opelousas College founded by 
the saintly Father Gilbert Raymond. 

When St. Mary's Academy for boys had become an assured lact, 
and began to prosper beyond the most sanguine expectations. Father 
Gilbert Raymond cast about to find a suitable location for a Girls' 
Academy. Before long a piece of ground was purchased, and, in the 
fall of 1856, the Academy of the Immaculate Conception was opened 
under the direction of the Marianite Sisters of the Holy Cross. The 
bright beginning of the institution, the sad days which came in the 
wake of the Civil War, and continued for many years after, until at 
last, with the erection of a new building, the old prosperity revived, 
make this history of more than threescore years read like an epic. 

The population of Opelousas had greatly increased since the days 
of Father Rossi, and the church built by the latter was now too small 
for the congregation.** To enlarge this sacred edifice was another of 
the works which marked the early years of Father Gilbert Raymond's 
pastorate. Not only was the building increased in length,*® but beauti- 
ful painting and frescoes adorned it inside, adding materially to its 

Nor should it be forgotten that, on the arrival of the two brothers, 
the parish of Opelousas, though several times already divided, still 
extended far and wide. Today flourishing parishes with magnificent 
churches and excellent schools, mark the places where the two apostolic 
priests and their assistants administered the sacraments in rude dwell- 
ings, or in little chapels, built gradually at various places as the result 
of the zeal inspired by their plain, simple sermons, which reached the 
heart of rich and poor, young and old, black and white. 

We just made in passing allusion to the assistants who shared in 
the two brothers' labors for the upbuilding of the parish. The records 
show the names of a number of priests, then young, who later made 
their mark in other fields to which they were transferred after having 
given the first fruits of their sacerdotal zeal under the care and guid- 
ance of the two brothers. 

When the latter arrived from France, in 1854, they were accom- 
panied by two seminarians, H. Picherit and Ren^ Pineau. Both were 
ordained in New Orleans in 1856, and sent to Opelousas to be broken 
into the harness. Father Picherit remained from January 17, 1856 to 
October 14, 1857; his companion Father Pineau was with him only 
a few months, from May to October 1856. Next we find on the 
records the names of the Revs. F. Joliet (January 15 to November 15, 
1858) ; Charles Gutton (April 27, 1859 to September 22, 1860) ; Gon- 
nellaz (January 9, 1861 to February 21, 1862) ; Martin (M-y 11 to 
September 7, 1861) ; C. Rigollet (September 16 to October 13, 1863) ; 
R. Vallee (December 16, 1863 to August 11, 1864) ; G. Rouxel, later 

♦* It measured 60 x 45 ft. 

* Forty feet; so that now the church was 100 ft. long by 45 wide. 


the Right Rev. Auxiliary of the Diocese (December 21, 1863 to Sep- 
tember 18, 1864) : Bishop Rouxel had quite an adventurous career dur- 
ing the nine months of his stay at Opelousas, having come in contact 
with the famous Jay Hawkers and the Home Guards on several occa- 
sins; A. Plotin (December 18, 1864 to October 22, 1865) ; J. B. Fraud 
(November 25, 1865 to September 22, 1868) ; A. Dubourg (January 
1 to November 18, 1868) ; Al. M. Mehault (January 7—22, 1870) ; 
T. Guillet (February 22, 1870 to April 28, 1871) ; Crepin (April 3 to 
October 7, 1871) ; M. Brady (June 22, 1871 to February 13, 1873) ; 
G. E. Sauvageau (February 2 to April 15, 1873) ; J. Juhel and P. 
Vivet stayed only about one month each ; but they styled themsvclves 
"Vicaire"; E. Fraering (August 24 to November 24, 1873); P. L. 
Pensier (December 2, 1873 to February 28, 1879) ; J. Lavaquerez 
(May 14, 1878 to January 1879) ; A. Eby (April 26, 1879 to January 
22, 1881) ; C. D. Erin, S.J., {ad interim, September 18, 1889 to January 
27, 1890). 

Archbishop Blanc seems to have taken a special liking to Ope- 
lousas, for we find him at St. Landry's Church three years in succes- 
sion. After his visit in 1854, he again came to the place on Septem- 
ber 10, 1855 : this time the number of persons confirmed was 175. The 
Archbishop was, of course, delighted at this notable increase ; he also 
expressed his satisfaction to the trustees, for their having complied 
with the wishes manifested by him on his previous visit, and congratu- 
lated them for the zeal and activity displayed in enlarging the church. 
The Act drawn at this occasion mentions his first visit to Washington, 
where thirty persons were confirmed, and echoes the prelate's delight 
at the proposal to make an addition to the church of that place. One 
year later, September 1856, Archbishop Blanc was again at St. Lan- 
dry's. He gave confirmation to seventy-one at Opelousas, twenty-five 
at Washington, and seventy-four at the chapel "au Bois Mallet," which 
he visited for the first time. 

These repeated visits of the Archbishop are evidence of his inter- 
est in the thriving parish, and of the delight he experienced in witness- 
ing its rapid progress under the able administration of the Raymonds. 
Scarcely had twenty months elapsed since they had taken charge, and 
during this short space of time the church had been enlarged, the boys' 
and girls' schools founded and put in a flourishing condition ; the 
trustees vied with their priests in zeal and activity ; the church at 
Washington had doubled its capacity, and a chapel had been erected 
among the free mulattoes of Bois Mallet ; small wonder, then, that the 
good Archbishop had a special aflfection for Opelousas. The Act of the 
Visitation of 1856 closes the series of formal and lengthy records of 
Episcopal inspections. 

After spending several years in New Orleans as Vicar General, 
the Very Rev. Gilbert Raymond returned to his old parish in 1881, 
giving most of his time to St. Mary's Academy and teaching in the 
school, which was generally spoken of as "Father Gilbert's School." 
He was hale and hearty and took an active part in the affairs of the 
parish for a number of years. He loved outdoor exercise and did a 


great amount of manual labor. In March 1889, while assisting in 
unloading freight from a wagon, his thumb was crushed between a 
box and the wagon. At first he gave the wound little attention ; but 
blood poison set in, and later on tetanus; and he died after a month 
of terrible suffering. The end came April 14, 1889, and cast a pall 
of gloom over the entire diocese. 

During all the time of his and his brother's incumbency, the 
temporal affairs of the parish were administered by a Board of Trus- 
tees, consisting of nine members, three of whom were elected annually. 
They had all the revenues accrueing from the pew rent and the ceme- 
tery, out of which they contributed $150.00 to defray the expenses 
incident to divine worship. The pastor had to be satisfied with the 
revenues from the jura stolae. This arrangement remained in force 
until the new charter, drawn up by archbishop Janssens, was adopted. 
Father Gilbert's brother, "Father Frangois," as he was affectionately 
called by the parishioners, owing to a disagreement with the trustees, 
was forced to resign less than a year after Father Gilbert's death. His 
last entry in the Parish records bears the date September 14, 1889. 

The memory of these two energetic and saintly pastors will be 
long treasured in the parish for which they labored so much. Father 
Gilbert Raymond was a born leader, with wonderful executive ability 
which enabled him to carry out plans which to his parishioners and 
others seemed simply visionary. 

After Father Francois Raymond's resignation the Rev. A. Du- 
bourg, a former assistant-pastor, and a nephew, it is said, " of the 
distinguished first Bishop of New Orleans after the cession of Louis- 
iana to the United States, was appointed Rector. He took charge of 
the Parish in January 1890, and remained until April 1895. 

For a few months no pastor was appointed, until at last Father 
John Engberink was transferred to Opelousas from the parish of 
Cameron, which he had built up from a wilderness. The career of 
this energetic priest is so perfect a model of missionary life in Louisi- 
ana, that we must pause a moment to relate it at some length. 

Father J. Engberink was born in Hasseloo, Holland, on July 14, 
1855. Passing successively through the College at Oldenzaal and the 
Seminary of Kuilenburg, he finished his theological course at Rysen- 
burg, and was ordained in the cathedral of Utrecht on the 10th of 
August, 1881. It had long been his ambition to work as a missionary. 
Yielding, however, to the wishes of his relatives, he remained for nine 
years in his native country. Finally, in 1889, he was able to see the 
fulfilment of his desires, and came to Louisiana. After a short stay 
in New Orleans, he was sent to Napoleonville to learn French, and 
thence to Lake Charles to learn English. On May 18, 1890, he became 
the first pastor of Cameron. 

The people of Cameron hitherto depended upon occasional visits 
of the pastor from Lake Charles, seventy-two miles away, and the 

This relationship is, however, very doubtful. 


need of a priest was urgent. There was neither place to hold services 
nor home for the pastor. One Mr. Leboeuf, although not a wealthy 
man, gave a room in his home to the priest. This room, or rather cell 
— eight by ten feet — was not luxurious ; yet it was a welcome restful 
shelter to the missionary after his arduous duties. There were no rich 
members in the congregation, and the support of the church had to 
come from the meagre store of the people who, as a rule, were blessed 
with but a scanty share of the world's goods. An old storeroom was 
the only place where services could be held, unless, when the attend- 
ance was large, and the weather fair, the shadow of a majestic oak- 
tree near by was resorted to. The first step was to build a combina- 
tion church and rectory ; this was completed in 1892, and a little later 
an independent church-building was erected. By this time the mem- 
bership of the congregation had greatly increased ; and the protestant 
preachers who had numbered among their listeners many who actually 
were baptized Catholics, found their flocks so reduced by the return 
of these stray sheep to their rightful fold, that they had to look for 
new fields. 

A territory one hundred and sixty miles long and thirty-five miles 
wide constituted the parish of Cameron. The tireless Pastor, there- 
fore, by no means devoted his entire time and activity to the parish 
church itself : fifteen missions claimed and received their share of his 
attention and care. A fine chapel was built in Grand Chenier, and 
Mass was said in it for the first time on January 22, 1893. The next 
year (1894) Leesburg had likewise its place of worship, inaugurated 
on July 8. Three weeks later, a chapel was also completed and 
dedicated at Grand Lake. The result of these years of strenuous 
labor had been a w^onderful growth of church membership among the 
white people. But Father Engberink never forgot he had yet other 
sheep who were not of this fold and that should be brought in. His 
efforts to awaken the faith, so long dormant, in the simple souls oi the 
colored folks were rewarded. There was a relatively large settlement 
of colored Catholics at Cameron itself, while many more dwelt in the 
country and made long journeys to come to the parish church. Chapels 
were erected for the various settlements, and, before long, means had 
been found to build a church in the village for the exclusive use of the 
colored people. On July 7, 1895, Mass was celebrated for the first 
time in that new edifice. 

Such a devouring activity, the fatigues caused by long and con- 
stant rambles through the length and breadth of his immense parish, 
the terrible ordeals which the undaunted missionary had to go through, 
were bound to break even his iron constitution. He was on crutches 
when he received from Archbishop Janssens his appointment to St. 
Landry's church in Opelousas. He hesitated, as well he could : much 
as he had accomplished in Cameron during the five years he had 
labored there, he saw what was yet to be done ; then his knowledge of 
English and French was limited, and six years of privations and hard- 
ships had sapped the strength of his bulky frame; on the other hand 
the program of the work to be done in Opelousas, as traced by the 


Archbishop was simply staggering: there was question of no less than 
building a new church and Rectory, erect new edifices for the existing 
educational institutions, revive the extinct Catholic college, and provide 
chapels for the remote districts. But the Archbishop knew of what 
mettle the man was made, to whose devotedness and energy he was 
appealing ; he insisted, and Father Engberink yielded to his entreaties. 

We need not retrace every step of the work accomplished. Suffice 
it to say that, with the single exception of the reopening of the Boys' 
College, the object of the worthy pastor's constant yearnings to his 
very last day, every point of the Archbishop's program was in due 
time faithfully and magnificently carried out. The new Rectory was 
ready for occupancy in the fall of 1900. Eight years later, on August 
8, 1908, the Most Rev. James H. Blenk, Archbishop of New Orleans, 
was laying the corner stone of the new church ; and so actively was 
the work pushed that Mass could be said for the first time in the new 
edifice on the first Friday of April of the following year. The pews 
were sold for six months, and the returns were such as to show con- 
clusively that, despite its huge proportions (189 feet in length, 94 ft. 
in width at the transept and 74 in the body of the church) and its 
seating capacity of about 2000, the edifice was not any too large: in- 
deed not a seat is empty at the early Mass every Sunday, and again 
the church is well filled at the later Mass. And the wonder of it — 
a wonder of financial management — is that, contrary to the forebod- 
ings of many, inside and outside Opelousas, this new church has never 
been a drain on the resources of the parish ; Father Engberink's suc- 
cessors may look without anxiety at the parish exchequer, and devote 
their time and the revenues of the church to the upbuilding of the 
minds and hearts of the growing generations. 

Whilst work was going on for the new church — the laying of the 
foundations was started in 1903 — , the Marianite Sisters, under the 
guidance of the pastor, were fulfilling another part of the renovation 
program, and erecting a new Academy. During the Christmas holidays 
of 1906, the new quarters were occupied, and a new era, glowing with 
bright prospects of well-deserved prosperity, dawned for the old 

Father Engberink fondled other plans, as we have seen. But his 
had already been more than a man's share in the work for the Catholic 
cause in the old parish. The Master whom he had served so zealously 
since his coming to Louisiana, called him, on June 16, 1918, to give 
the account of his stewardship. He was buried, as was meet, in the 
church which he had built, and upon his tombstone we read this in- 
scription : 

Here lies 

Very Rev. John Engberink 

Dean, pastor of St. Landrv's Church, 

a native of Hasselo, Holland, 

born Tuly 14. 1855, 

died June 16, 1918, 

in the 37th year of his priesthood. 


A true priest of God, he fought the good fight, he proved 
his zeal for the beauty of the house of God by building 
this church? (sic) and his love for his people by the 
sacrifice of his life. 

R. I. P. 

Wags — for there are wags at Opelousas — interpret the engraver's 
unfortunate introduction of the interrogation mark as a warning to 
his successors that there is still work to be done "for the beauty of 
the house of God." But the present, threshold of the future, is forbid- 
den ground to history. Here her pupils must lay down their pens. 



Nothing that has ever happened on earth can be altogether ob- 
literated by the ravages of time. If an influence was ever felt, it has 
left its impression somewhere upon the customs and manners of the 
people, in the traces of character of some descendants of the actor, in 
some bend of a road or street, in some crumbling, yet all the more 
eloquent monument, in the dry dust beneath our feet, as well as be- 
neath the sheltering roof of the library, the garret and the cellar. In- 
deed God alone clearly recognizes the innumerable traces of past 
events ; but they are certainly present with us, though often hidden 
from view, or unnoticed, through our lack of insight, or experience 
to read them aright. Yet in His own time and in His own way the 
Spirit of Wisdom descends and hovers over the dry bones, over the 
accumulated dust and debris of centuries, and in a moment all is alive, 
and the image of a long-forgotten period of history rises before our 
astonished gaze. So it was with the buried civilization of the Chaldean 
empire, of Ninive, of Babylon, of Persepolis, and Troy and Pompei, 
and so we may hope that many a bright or dark picture of hoary anti- 
quity, now written nowhere but in the Book of Life, will be written 
on the pages of our histories, for our instruction, warning and edifica- 

Now, to come from great things to small ones, it happened, through 
the courtesy of the late Hon. Walter B. Douglas, the highest authority 
among us on all matters concerning the early days of St. Louis and 
Missouri in general, that the writer of this article was enabled to catch 
an intimate glimpse of the village of St. Louis and its primitive life 
during the period of A.D. 1793 — 1818. Twenty-five years of village 
life, quiet, unobtrusive, kindly, joyous and sincerely, though perhaps 
not deeply, religious, became present to the imagination after the lapse 
of more than a century ; and the magic word to recall it from oblivion 
was a musty report of a trial, held before the Supreme Court of Mis- 
souri, in the March term, 1859, entitled "The St. Louis Public Schools 
vs. Greene Erskine" ^. This lawsuit was to decide the ownership of a 
lot in block 87, of the City of St. Louis, being a part of Survey 372, 
assigned, on March 19, 1844, by the United States to the inhabitants 
for the support of the schools. The lot under litigation fronts forty- 
four and a half ft., on the south side of Olive Street, between Third 
and Fourth, and runs back southward of that width twenty-six feet 
three inches. Such a law-brief, concerning a lot 44 by 26 ft., does not 

1 Archives of the Missouri Historical Society. We quote from a transcript, and refer 
s paging. 

to its paging 



promise much historical information of an interesting kind ; yet in this 
case it is replete with just such historical hints as are the delight of 
the antiquarian. This is partly on account of the original use of this 
lot, partly on account of the local importance and interest attaching to 
some of the witnesses in the case. 

From the unanimous testimony offered, it appears that the northern 
half of the lot S7 of the village of St. Louis, contained for many years 
a so-called Calvary, that is, an elevation, natural or artificial, sur- 
mounted by a large cross, intended to represent the scene of the cruci- 
fixion of our Lord. This fact, in itself, is nothing extraordinary, as our 
Catholic forefathers, both in the Old, as well as in the New World, 
were in the habit of erecting such crosses in public as well as in private 
places. Witness the crosses erected by De Soto and his followers on a 
hillock near New Madrid in 1539 ^ by Marquette at Kaskaskia and 
elsewhere among the Illinois in 1673 ^, by Saint-Cosme and his com- 
panions near Cape St. Antoine on the Mississippi in 1699 *, and by 
many other explorers of the western wilderness. But this our cross has 
a special interest to the people of St. Louis. 

The village of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by Pierre Laclede- 
Liguest and his stepson, Auguste Chouteau ^, who, at the time was only 
thirteen years of age. Young Chouteau also made the first plat of the 
incipient city. According to this, there were three streets in the village, 
running parallel with the river, the Rue Royale, now Main Street, the 
Rue de I'Eglise, now Second, and the Rue des Granges, "Barn Street", 
now Third. Our present Fourth Street occupies the site of the city- 
wall or stockade, which was flanked by towers and bastions. The 
streets running east and west were eighteen in number, nine on each 
side of the central block, devoted to the uses of the Church. The Church- 
block lay between Second and Third, Walnut and Market Streets, 
forming the very heart of the village. During the time we are writing 
of, it contained the old dilapidated chapel of logs built in Father Valen- 
tine's days and the presbytere of stone, erected shortly after the com- 
ing of Father Bernard de Limpach. Other buildings there were none 
on the entire block until the advent of Bishop Louis William Valentine 
Du Bourg, in 1818. The Cemetery occupied the space along Market 
Street from Second to Third. All the buildings faced the Rue de 
I'Eglise, that is. Second Street. All the original village blocks measured 
300 by 240 ft. The sequence of the streets, from the church north- 
ward, was Market, Chesnut, Pine, Olive. Now it was on Olive Street 
between Third and Fourth, that the Calvary with its lonely cross was 
situated, with no dwellings, and only a few barns, near by. But the 
whole village lay within sight of the Calvary, as it occupied the highest 

2 Cf. Spanish Explorers in the Southern United States, p. 208. 

3 Cf. Voyages and Discoveries of Father Marquette in Shea's Discovery and Explora- 
tion of the Mississippi River, p. 15. 

4 Cf. Saint-Cosme's Letter in Shea, Early Voyages Up and Down the Mississippi, p. 68. 
6 Cf. Auguste Chouteau's Journal of the Foundation of St. Louis, in Missouri Historical 

Society Collections, Vol. Ill, No. 4 


point of ground within the walls, and its natural elevation had been 
enhanced by an artificial mound, eight or nine feet high and fifty feet 
square at the bottom, all enclosed with stone steps leading up to the 
base of the cross and forming a platform of about twenty-five feet. 
A little to the north, there was an opening in the stockade, the gateway 
to Florissant and the villages beyond. Just outside of the stockade, 
only some fifty feet distant, began the Common Field reserved for the 
general use of the inhabitants. Further on to the west stretched a roll- 
ing prairie studded with clumps of trees and covered with luxuriant 
shrubbery. The cross itself, made of cedar wood, was about twelve 
feet — according to some witnesses, twenty feet — high. The avenue of 
approach to the Calvary was on Olive Street which, within the memory 
of some of the ancients, had been a mere footpath and partly a gully. 
The usual size of a city lot was one-fourth of a block, or 150 by 120 
ft. According to the plat made in 1804, the time of the Louisiana Pur- 
chase going into effect, the south half of block 87 was owned by San- 
guinet and Vasquez, the N.W. quarter by Brazeau, and the N.E. portion 
by Picard. There were no houses even in 1812 on the entire block, 
only three barns, and the Calvary. 

But what particular spot did the Calvary occupy? Facing Olive 
Street, as it certainly did, it must have stood between Picard on Third 
and Brazeau on Fourth Street, perhaps half-way ; for some witnesses 
give its location as about one hundred feet distant from the corner 
of Third and Olive. Whether Picard, or possibly Brazeau, originally 
set apart the fifty or more feet necessary for the Calvary, cannot now 
be determined ; according to one witness, "Alexis Picard consented to 
this cross being put there" ; certain it is that later on his heirs claimed 
the site after the cross had been removed about 1823. 

In confirmation of what has been stated so far, we will now hear 
the testimony of the sworn witnesses : Jacques Labie, seventy-four 
years old at the time of the trial, says : 

I know where the Calvary was : it was near the lot of Picard, west of 
it. Five or six months after the cross was put up, they made a procession, 
and after that the Governor ordered Picard to remove his fence. He said 
that it was too close to the cross. The cross was near Picard's lot. There 
was nothing there where the cross was, it was vacant in those times. Before 
l8i2 there was nobody (living) there : it was all vacant (land) : no streets 
there, all barn lots. I mean by 'vacant' that all these pieces of barn lots had 
only barns, but no residences before 1812. There was no Third Street (made 
as yet). The cross may have been 120 or 140 feet west of (what is now) 
Third Street, (p. 8). 

Thus far Mr. Jacques Labie. The father of our witness, Jacques 
Labie, is one of the signers of the order for building the second church 
edifice in the village, under Piernas and Father Valentine, in 1775. He 
was one of the prominent citizens of St. Louis, and his son, our wit- 
ness, was known to all. 

Other witnesses estimate the distance of the cross from Third 
Street at about 100 feet or less. But all are agreed that it was on 
the south side of Olive Street, between Third and Fourth. Indeed 


one witness places it on the roadway between Lacroix and Ruelle 
(Reilhe). — 'Tart of the Calvary was on the Lacroix lot," says 
Madame Ortiz, "the balance on the public roadway." This, of course, 
is a mistake, owing possibly to an accidental bend in the roadway at 
some time, which, we have seen, was but a gully, and which may 
have trenched on the block to the south, throwing the Calvary to 
the north of the actual roadway. In any case, all the other witnesses 
state positively that the Calvary was on the south side of Olive 
Street. Thomas H. West says: 

I do not think that the cross stood in Olive Street. Olive Street, in 1817, 
was passable, and the line of Olive Street was marked. Madame Labeaume's 
fence defined it, and there were houses on Olive Street, (p. 16). 

But this was after 1817, the date of Mr. West's coming to 
St. Louis, whilst the recollection of the former witness, Madame 
Elizabeth Hortiz may refer to any period after 1773, when she 
came to St. Louis from Vincennes. At an earlier date the Olive 
Street on the plat, and the actual Olive Street may not have followed 
exactly the same lines: this may have caused a slight confusion in 
the memory of Madame Hortiz, which was otherwise very good*'. 

One more testimony, that of John Pourcelli, seventy-five years 
old, will conclude this part of the argument : 

I know where the "old Calvary" was in St. Louis. To my knowledge 
It was opposite to where the (old) Custom House is now (1859) : it was on 
the south side of Olive Street. I saw this cross from my first recollection, 
standing there; it was used by Catholics, they went every year in pro- 
cession to that cross. I was ten years old when I first saw the space of 
ground occupied by the cross itself. The Calvary took about 25 feet on 
each side of the cross, in the way of steps on each side of it. It— that is, 
the cross— was twenty feet high. The last time I saw it was five or six years 
after the change of government. The nearest I saw anyone (living) to this 
cross, was on the other side of the street. Joseph Lacroix lived there, north 
of it. The street (Olive) was between Lacroix and this lot, and this cross 
street was the ordinary width they are now. The cross stood about 100 
feet from Third Street, west; there was nothing on this lot between Third 
and the cross... there was nothing west of the Crucifix. . .This was an old 
cross. The steps were of stone, forming a base of about 25 feet square, eight 
or nine feet high. There were steps on either side (probably east and west), 
as the people had to step aside from Olive Street to go up. I passed there 
every day to go to the barn... They used the street after the cross was 
there. I never saw anyone live where the cross was, and do not know that 
they would have been permitted (pp. 4—5). 

_ John Pourcelli, the witness, was born in 1784, of John Pour- 
celli, a native of Provence, who came to St. Louis that very year. 

6 Mayor William Carr Lane in his Message of 1823 spoke as follows: "The old streets 
3 Jnl^^'" ^°'"f^''^at irregular. To straighten them, to make them parallel and cross at 
III rr a' ^"° *° reduce the squares to the same superficial contents would be to purchase 

M,e,Ho?"th/n"l %^a;u'.°^ ''""^' an enterprise that we are by no means prepared for. The 
question then IS, What are w-e to do? I answer, We can appeal to the intelligence of the 
Z t?rl.?=^. -"'^•, "^^' *°t'^^ venerable father of the city himself, and ascertain where 
inPt/c !! HthJ'^'"^ I "'^•'■'^- ^ ^^^""^ °^ *•"' because I know of no authentic record of their 
metes, widths, and bearings, and because encroachments upon them have been so great as 
not only to render them generally crooked, but in some of the cross streets to nearly ob- 
•truct tnem entirely. 


It is noteworthy that the bulk of the earhest inhabitants were, Hke 
the founder himself, from southern France. 

Having now fixed the nature and the location, the quid and the 
vbi, of our St. Louis Calvary, we come to the questions, Quis and 
Quando, when and by whom was it erected. These two questions 
must be treated as practically one : for the erection of such a public 
monument could not have been accomplished except by public 
authority, civil and ecclesiastical. Under the Spanish and French 
regimes we enjoyed the union of Church and State. The Lieutenant- 
Governor and the Parish Priest constituted the highest authority; 
the erection of the cross in St. Louis must, therefore, be attributed 
to them. But their offices were filled in succession by a definite num- 
ber of well-authenticated persons. 

As already stated, St. Louis was founded in 1764 (February 14, 
or, as Hunt says, February 16). "In laying out the village," says 
Prof. S. Waterhouse, "with a wise provision for the spiritual needs 
of the colony, Liguest had reserved a block for religious use. On 
this site the first Catholic church was erected in 1770. It stood on the 
west side of Second Street, between Market and Walnut. It was 
built of upright logs, and the crevices were plastered with clay. The 
completion of this rude edifice was celebrated with popular rejoicing. 
On the 24th day of June, 1770, the church was dedicated by Father 
Gibault of Kaskaskia, with ceremonies of joyous solemnity" 7. This 
was done under the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Louisiana, 
Don Pedro Piernas, who had arrived in the spring of 1770. Two years 
later, in May 1772, there came to St. Louis the Capuchin Father 
Valentine. Both were Spaniards, whilst the founders and settlers 
of the rising city were French. The reason for this anomalous con- 
dition was that, a few months after the foundation of Laclede's 
village, the Treaty of Paris ceded the entire territory of Louisiana 
to Spain. 

As the Spanish power was rather slow and seemingly reluctant 
to establish itself, St. Louis enjoyed about five years of happy, hope- 
ful independence under the self -chosen Governor Saint-Ange de 
Bellerive, ^ the former commandant of Fort Chartres. During this 
interval the town received occasionally visits from Father Gibault, 

7 The founder of St. Louis laid off the square where the Cathedral novj stands, for • 
Catholic church. On this square was buried Saint-Ange de Bellerive, the French Commandant, 
and Fernando de Leyba, one of the Spanish Commandants, and also his wife. The first prayer 
and first blessing were breathed by Catholic lips. Their hands reared the first altar, and 
they first sang the Exaudiat and the De Profundis (the Te Deum) in the jubilant voices, 
where now our great metropolis stands. They first stood upon heathen ground and con- 
secrated it to religion." Edwards. Gfeat West. St. Louis, 1860. 

8 The pioneers of St. Louis, no doubt, imagined that they were building up a French 
city, and when Saint-Ange de Bellerive came over with his little troop of soldiers from Fort 
Chartres, he was joyfully received .-is Governor civil and military. His grants of land to the 
early citizens were readily confirmed by the Spanish authorities. Saint-Ange was a particular 
friend of the great leader Pontiac, and received a visit from him at the house of Mrs. 
Chouteau. Saint-Ange died September 26, 1774, and was buried by Father Valentin in the 
Catholic cemetery on Market and Second Streets. In his will he bequeathed 500 livres t« 
the church. 


then Vicar General of the Bishop of Quebec, and the Jesuit Father 
Meurin. The church dedicated by Father Gibault in 1770 soon be- 
coming ruinous ^, the erection of a new one was begun towards the 
end of Father Valentine's administration in 1775, and completed in 
1776^". On May 25, 1776, the first canonical pastor of the newly 
erected parish of St. Louis arrived from New Orleans, in the person 
of the Capuchin Father Bernard de Limpach, during whose in- 
cumbency the prehytere, or parish residence was built of stone, with 
dimensions 45 by 27 feet. Don Francisco Cruzat was now Lieuten- 
ant-Governor, as successor to Don Pedro Piernas, from May 1775 
to June 17, 1778. Father Bernard de Limpach remained in St. Louis 
until November 1789, and was then succeeded by Father Ledru, a 
Dominican — also called Jacobin — who had withdrawn 'from Kas- 
kaskia "on account of the lawlessness prevalent there at the time." 
At Kaskaskia and Cahokia Father Ledru had acted by authority of 
the Bishop of Baltimore. In St. Louis he held jurisdiction from the 
authorities in New Orleans. On entering upon his new duties, Father 
Ledru wrote to the Bishop of Quebec that the Spanish government 
allowed him an annual salary of $1200. Bishop Carroll writes that 
he had heard evil reports concerning Father Ledru, and expresses 
regret at having given him even restricted faculties for the Illinois 
country ; but he makes no specific charge. Father Ledru left St. 
Louis in September 1793 and was succeeded by Dom Pierre Joseph 
Didier, of the Order of St. Benedict, who had been stationed since 
1792 at Florissant, and officiated in St. Louis until April 1799. The 
Spanish Lieutenant-Governors of Upper Louisiana during this time 
were Don Ferdinand de Leyba, January 1, 1777, to June 20, 1780; Don 
Francisco Cruzat ^\ for a second term from September 24, 1780, to 
November 27„ 1787; Don Manuel Perez, from November 25, 1787 to 
July 21, 1792; Don Zenon Trudeau, from July 21, 1792 to August 29, 
1799; to be followed by Charles Dehault de Lassus, the last of the line 
of Spanish Lieutenant-Governors of LTpper Louisiana, 

Now, as our St. Louis Calvary was certainly erected during the 
Spanish regime, the question arises : Under what Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor ; under what Parish Priest ? For an answer, we must go back to our 
Court record. 

We have already cited the words of John Pourcelli : 'T was ten 
years old when I first saw the space of ground occupied by the cross." 
At the time of this testimony John Pourcelli was seventy-four years 
old, consequently he was born in 1785 and was ten years old in 1795, 
during the time of Father Didier's pastorate in St. Louis, and the 
governorship of Zenon Trudeau. 

9 The logs being placed end downwards on the earth quickly decayed and caused the 
superstructure to fall. The engineer Van den Benden, who was to rebuild the fortifications 
of St. Louis in 1799, declares in his report that the logs could not last longer than five 
years, and consequently advises that they be built of stone. 

10 The plans and specifications of the church building of 1776 were reprinted in the 
Western Watchman, February 18, 1917. 

11 There was a brief interval between the death of DeLeyba and the arrival of Cruzat, 
during which De Leyba's lieutenant Cartabona carried on the government. 


Jacques Labie, who has been quoted heretofore in regard to the 
location of our Calvary, bears testimony also as to the date of its 
erection : 

I was born in St. Louis. I am seventy-four years old. I always lived in 
St. Louis until a few years ago. . .1 knew where the Calvary was. . .The cross 
stood on a little mound, the highest ground there, three or four feet high. 
This ground was selected on account of the ground being high... I saw the 
cross put there. I was seven, or eight, or ten years old. I saw the cross put 

By this testimony the date of the erection of the Calvary is fixed 
between the years 1792 and 1795, near enough to the date fixed by the 
testimony of John Pourcelli, to point to Father Peter Joseph Didier 
as the originator of the Calvary. 

This probability is raised to a certainty by the graphic description 
given by Madame Hortiz : 

I am ninety-two years old. I was brought to this city when I was but four 
years old,, during the time of Mr. Saint-Ange ; from that time on I have 
always lived here. I knew the elder Mr. Alexis Picard very well; he lived 
here from the beginning of the village and died here, about seventy-five 
years ago... He owned a barn-lot on the hill in St. Louis, on the hill where 
all the barns stood. He had a barn upon the lot and the lot was surrounded 
with a picket fence. I knew the barn well, having seen it while standing in 
rotten condition, and afterwards when it had fallen. The barn lot was oppo- 
site the old theatre on the hill. There was no theatre there at the time of 
the existence of the barn... I mean it was opposite the lot subsequently 
covered by the theatre. In the time of which we speak there was no street 
in that locality, there was only a pathway. The Picard barn lot and the 
common fields were side by side, they almost joined. The Calvary was on 
the roadway between Lacroix and Ruelle. The Calvary was not surrounded; 
it was a public place, an elevated cross, to which everybody went for devo- 
tional purposes. . .The cross was made of cedar-wood, placed on a stone 
wall and attainable by steps (pp. 5 — 7). 

Madame Elizabeth Hortiz, or Ortez, being our star witness, de- 
serves a more extended notice." She was Elizabeth Barada, born in 
Vincennes, September 27, 1764, and came to St. Louis in 1768, at the 
age of four years. Here, in 1782, she became the wife of John B. 
Hortiz, or Ortez, a carpenter from Beam in the Pyrenees, who had 
come to St. Louis in company with Laclede in 1764. Madame Hortiz 
died in 1868, having attained the remarkable age of one hundred and 
four years. Ortez and Cambas built the church that served the people 
of the village from Father Valentine's time until the coming of Bishop 
Du Bourg, about forty-two years. 

After these biographical data, let us return to our narrative at 
the most interesting part of Madame Hortiz' testimony, opening, in 
one brief sentence, a wide perspective of stirring events : "The Calvarj-- 
was built immediately after the French Revolution, and when a num- 

12 There is an elaborate biography of Madame Elizabeth Ortez in Edward's Great West, 
which work seems to owe a good part of its historical information on the early days of 
St. Louis to the venerable lady, the only surviver of the days of Laclede, Saint-Ange and 


ber of French emigrants, among whom was a priest, came to the vil- 
lage." The French emigrants that came to the village were a remnant 
of the disappointed eight hundred French colonists and their famiHes 
that had come to America under the leadership of Marquis Lezay- 
Marnezia, the Count de Barth de Walbach, the Baron de Breteche and 
Pierre Charles De Hault de Lassus et de Luzi^res, "Knight of the 
Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael," and many other gentlemen 
of lofty titles. The promoters of the colonization scheme, the Scioto 
Company ^^, took advantage of the naive confidence of the French 
colonists, and the French settlement at Gallipolis proved a vast failure. 
Many of the immigrants perished ; others drifted to the settlements on 
the Mississippi, especially to New Bourbon, about three miles distant 
from Ste. Genevieve, others again to St. Louis. One of their priests, 
in fact the spiritual head of the projected Diocese of Gallipolis, the 
Rev. "Peter Joseph Didier, Benedictine Religious of the Congregation 
of St. Maur, of the Royal Abbey of St. Denis, of the Order of St. 
Benedict," as he styles himself in the Baptismal Record of St. Charles 
Borromeo's church in St. Charles, was the very first priest of Madame 
Hortiz' account, coming to the village immediately after the French 
Revolution. This great outbreak of popular fury began in 1789; the 
royal family was executed in 1793, and among many other sacrileges, 
the ancient Abbey of St. Denis was invaded by a bloodthirsty mob, 
and the tombs of a long line of Kings demolished, and the ashes of the 
dead scattered to the winds. Father Didier was Procurator of St. Denis, 
and had incurred the special hatred of the revolutionists for having 
quartered the royal troops at the Abbey in 1789. He escaped a terrible 
fate by flight, and was barred from France by proscription. About 
1790, the so-called Scioto Company, to found a colony on the banks 
of the river of that name, was formed by Joel Barlow and others, and 
a large number of French noblemen, that had been driven from their 
country, became interested and deeply involved in it. As they were, 
for the most part. Catholics, they desired to have a Bishop appointed 
by Rome for the projected colony. As the question whether the new 
settlement would be within the territory of the United States or not, 
was as yet undecided, the Propaganda, April 26, 1790, gave special 
powers to Dom Peter Joseph Didier as Superior of the Catholics of 
the French colony on the banks of the Scioto, with power to communi- 
cate faculties to other priests. "It was cautiously provided, however," 
says Shea, "that the powers granted for seven years were not to be 
used in the Diocese of any Bishop, and that, as all the United States 
were subject to the Bishop of Baltimore, if the French colony was es- 
tablished m the United States, Dom Didier was not to use his faculties, 
except with the express consent of Bishop Carroll." 

Father Didier came over, apparently with a party of immigrants 
who landed at Alexandria in 1790, and proceeded to Ohio: but, to 
quote Shea once more, "on reaching Ohio the poor immigrants found 

13 Cf. Rev. T,aui-ence J. Kennv, S. J. The Gallipolis Colony, in Catholic Historical Ri- 
view, Vol. IV, No. 4. 


themselves to be the victims of unprincipled land-speculators, who did 
not own the land they pretended to sell." A foundation, however, was 
made at Gallipolis, and Father Didier, after obtaining Bishop Carroll's 
consent to use his faculties, began his ministry. The dissatisfied sett- 
lers, in turn, seemed but little disposed to profit by it: prejudice poi- 
soned the minds of many, dissentions arose, Indian hostilities ensued, 
and the settlers began to scatter. At the close of 1792, Father Didier 
left Gallipolis for Florissant and St. Louis. On December 9, 1793, he 
became pastor of the parish of St. Louis and its dependencies, and la- 
bored there faithfully until May 16, 1799 the "pioneer Benedictine of 
this country," as Shea calls him". 

It was about the year 1795, as we have seen, and consequently it 
was by Father Peter Joseph Didier, the Benedictine, that the St. Louis 
Calvary was erected. As actual builder of the stone-steps leading to 
the cross, we have reason to consider Louis Van den Benden, a native 
of Flanders, and a civil engineer, who came to New Madrid from Gal- 
lipolis, and was appointed by Baron Carondelet to restore the fortifica- 
tions of St. Louis in 1797. 

But what was the purpose of this cross and of the so-called Cal- 
vary? The learned antiquarian Britton ^^ informs us, that our tasteful, 
pious ancestors had erected "for ornament as well as for edification, 
ten descriptions of crosses : 'first, preaching crosses ; second, market 
crosses; third, weeping crosses; fourth, street crosses; fifth, memorial 
crosses ; sixth, as landmarks ; seventh, sepulchral ; eighth, highway 
crosses; ninth, at entrance to churches; tenth, for attestations of 
peace'." Now, our cross may have been intended to serve several of 
these purposes, perhaps all of them except two : it surely did not mark 
the entrance to the village church nor the ordinary place of sepulture, 
both of which were at least four blocks distant, on Second and Market 
Streets; for the cross stood hard by the stockade that enclosed the 
tov/n since the Indian attack called ' le grand coup" of 1780. From the 
testimony given in our trial, it appears that it was visited by the people 
of St. Louis, "who were all Catholics," not only for private devotion, 
but also for public demonstrations and processions. As Jacques Labie 
states, "all the people in St. Louis were then Catholics, and they went 
every year there (to the Calvary) in procession." 

" Cf. Shea. Father Joseph Didier was born in Besancon, Franche Comte. He officiated 
in St. Louis from December 1793 to April 1799, during which period he baptized 220 whites, 
79 negroes and 16 Indians. Among the latter I find this interesting entry: "In the year 
1794, the 13th of April. Peter Joseph Didier, Religious Benedictine Priest of the Congre- 
gation of St. Maur, baptized Teresa Victori, of Indian origin, of the nation of the Pani« 
(Pawnees), about five years of age The godfather was Mr. Zenon Trudeau, Captain Com- 
mandant of the appointed Regiment of Louisiana and Lieutenant-Governor of the Western 
post of Illinois. The godmother was Mary Genevieve de la Marche, Religious Superioress 
of the ladies of Ste. Claire de Tours, who have signed this present with me the day and year 
above. peter joseph didier. 

The godmother was a high born lady driven from her cloister in France during the stormy 
days of the Revolution, and spending some years of her exile in St. Louis. What became of 
the good Sister? 

16 Cf. William Goodman, Tft^ Social State of Great Britain during the Reign of th« 
Stuarts, Vol. I, 2S8. 


This annual procession to the Calvary probably was the Corpus 
Christi procession which is held in all Catholic countries with greatest 
pomp, if possible, in the open air, and was, no doubt, so held in early 
St. Louis. Solemnly wending its way north on Second Street, it turned 
west to the Calvary, then southward between the stockade and the 
fence of the common field to make a turn eastward at the Tower on 
Walnut, and proceeding along Walnut to Second, it arrived at its 
starting place on Second and Market. In that case, the three stations, 
or altars, would naturally have been at the church itself, at the Calvary, 
and at the old Spanish Fort or Tower on Fourth and Walnut. This 
conjecture may remind some of my readers of what Scharf says in 
his History of St. Lords relative to the affair of 1780 : "It was fortunate 
for the village that the attack by the Indians did not occur twenty-four 
hours earlier. The 25th day of May was a Catholic holy day. It was 
the festival of Corpus Christi. The day was spent in religious devotions 
and social festivities. In the afternoon many of the inhabitants went 
out into the fields to pick strawberries. Had the attack been made at 
this time, when the people were engaged in their holiday diversions, 
it might have resulted in the capture of St. Louis and the slaughter 
of its inhabitants" ^^. From its earliest days, as appears in the inven- 
tory of the church property left by Father Valentine ^^, the church of 
St. Louis possessed a monstrance, as used in processions of the Blessed 
Sacrament. At the installation of Bishop Du Bourg a dais or proces- 
sional canopy is spoken of as a thing of ordinary use ; and the people 
of the village were noted for their love of processions with religious 
pomp. So we can easily imagine the enthusiastic congregation march- 
ing along the streets I have mentioned, to the sound of the old beauti- 
ful songs in praise of their Eucharistic God, stopping at the temporary 
altars to receive the Benediction, and then returning to the Church, to 
spend the rest of the day in innocent diversions, on the church-square 
or along the river front. 

And now a last question : When was the cross taken down, and the 
Calvary destroyed? 

Madame Hortiz tells us : 

The Calvary was destroyed before the incoming of the Americans ; it 
was in existence, however, during the time of the Spaniards. The cross was 
going to decay, and was being hacked up and destroyed by the Indians, so 
the whites removed it to the presbytery. The cross was removed during the 
time of Mr. Delassus (that is. before 1804). 

Jacques Labie, however, declares just as positively that "the 
crucifix was removed after the consecration of Bishop Du Bourg," 
that is, after 1817. There was but one cross on the Calvary: when was 
it removed? To settle this discrepancy of these two ancients of the 

18 Scharf. History of St. Louis, p. — . This account is based on Edward's Great IVest, 
pp. 264 and 365, and probably rests on the authority of Madame Elizabeth Ortiz. 

IT Missouri Historical Society, Spanish Archives. 


village, we must appeal to one that came to St. Louis at a later date : 
Isaac A. Letcher, an American, states : 

I came to St. Louis in the spring of 1816; I recollect seeing the old 
Catholic cross in old times west of Third Street, when I first came here. 
I cannot designate the place ; it was not far from what they called the 
Tower. It was a little east of it. (/>. 13). 

It follows, therefore, that the life of the Calvary was prolonged 
to 1815 at least, the year of Bishop Du Bourg's consecration in Rome, 
and probably the year of his coming to St. Louis, early in 1818, a con- 
clusion that is confirmed by Francis Flandrin, born in 1789, who says : 

I am' sixty-one years old ; I was born in St. Louis and have lived here 
ever since; I remember the old crucifix or cross...! was very young when 
I first went there with the priests in procession... The cross was there 
in 1815 or 16; it stood on very high ground (p. 15). 

In addition to this, the testimony of Thomas H. West may be given : 

I came to St. Louis in 1817; I was familiar with a good many of monu- 
ments. I knew the old Catholic cross that stood on this block 87. 

The cross, then, was still in place in 1817. When was it removed 
or destroyed? Jacques Labie will tell us: 

It was thrown down in 1823 or 1824. The Bishop saved the cross ; he 
moved it to the old Cathedral. 

that is, the church erected by Bishop Du Bourg in 1820 on the site of 
the first church. 

What became of it after that, who can tell? 

During twenty-five years, the great cross of cedar-wood had been 
an inspiration, a source of comfort, a center of attraction in the vil- 
lage, calling the people's thoughts from their labors and pleasures to 
Him who died for their salvation. May it now live on in the memory 
of their posterity, as a symbol of the faith the bishops and priests and 
people of St. Louis strove so earnestly and successfully to plant in all 
the regions now comprised in the ecclesiastical Provinces of St. Louis, 
Chicago and Dubuque. 




The settlement of Cape Girardeau dates from 1793. The name, 
originally applied to the "Big Bend" above the city, was derived, as 
is commonly accepted, from that of Ensign Sieur Girardot who from 
1704 to 1720 was stationed with the royal troops of France at Kas- 
kaskia, or possibly from that of his son. The name last appears on the 
records at Kaskaskia, signed to a marriage contract in 1775. After 
resigning his position in the army, Girardot became a successful trader 
among the Indians. Yet, although his name became associated with 
the cape, the honor of having made the first permanent settlement is 
due to a French Canadian, Don Louis Lorimier. Lorimier was a re- 
markable man, and, could a complete history of his life be written, it 
would read like a romance; but all that is positively known of his 
career prior to his coming to Upper Louisiana is that he was born 
in the parish of Etienne, district of Montreal, Canada, in the year 
1748. He came to Cape Girardeau early in 1793. Prior to his coming 
to Upper Louisiana. Lorimier had taken for his wife a half-breed 
Shawnee woman, named Charlotte Pemanpieh, supposed to have been 
a daughter of a Canadian officer of that name, aide-de-camp to Mont- 
calm. This greatly endeared him to the Indians, and, added to his ability 
and experience, gained him great power over, not only the Shawnees, 
but also the various other tribes with whom he came in contact. In 
1795 he presented a petition to the governor-general, Baron of Caron- 
delet, for 8000 arpents of land at Cape Girardeau, fronting on Cypress 
Island, which was granted. At about this time, Spain thought it ad- 
visable to populate Upper Louisiana as a barrier to the English in 
Canada, and, accordingly, offered great inducements to settlers, espe- 
cially to those of the United States. She preferred the latter, since their 
prejudices against the British, which were strong at that time, rendered 
their attachment to Spanish interests more certain. To them lands were 
given gratuitously, and they were exempted from taxation. The extent 
of the concession was usually regulated by the wealth and importance 
of the settler, the size of his family and his ability to cultivate the 
land ; except for special services, however, it did not often exceed 800 
arpents which is equal to about 680 acres. The only cost to the settler 
was the fees of office and the surveyor's charges, amounting to about 
$41. This, however, did not give a complete title. When the settler 
had actually inhabited, possessed, or cultivated the land for ten years, 



a confirmation was required. To secure this, it was necessary to certify 
the fact of possession for the required time to the proper officer at 
New Orleans, who issued a patent. 

Under these inducements, people from Virginia, North Carolina, 
Kentucky, and other States came to Upper Louisiana in large numbers. 
Of these the great majority located in Cape Girardeau District, which 
soon became the most compactly settled section in the whole province. 
This was doubtless due to the fact that here the settlers found a country 
most similar to that which they had left, and no prior settlement of 
the French prevented their securing the best land. This was in reality 
the first purely American settlement west of the Mississippi. In 1799 
the population of the district was numbered 416 whites and 105 slaves. 
In 1803 a second census was taken, which showed a total population 
of 1206 whites and 180 slaves. 

Upon the settlement of the district, Louis Lorimier, while retain- 
ing his superintendency of Indian affairs, was made the civil and mili- 
tary commandant of the post of Cape Girardeau, and in this office, 
as elsewhere, he displayed great activity and good judgment. He con- 
tinued to hold this position until the transfer of the government to the 
United States, and was held in the highest esteem by the governor- 
general and the lieutenant-governor. He remained at Cape Girardeau 
until his death which occurred on July 26, 1812. His remains, together 
with those of his Indian wife, lie in that part of the old cemetery which 
he had donated to the Catholics of the city and vicinity. 

As has been stated, the settlement of Cape Girardeau was purely 
American, there not being more than five French families in the en- 
tire district. This accounts in great measure for the fact that among 
the first settlers there were few Catholics. Cape Girardeau was sur- 
veyed and laid ofT into streets and lots some time in February or 
March, 1806, by Bartholomew Cousin, and incorporated two years 
later. In 1813 Cape Girardeau County was organized. 

Louis Lorimier lived in a long low frame house, which he built 
three or four years before the town was laid out, on the lot now occu- 
pied by St. Vincent's Academy. His son-in-law, D. F. Steinbeck, lived 
on the corner, now occupied by the Sturdivant Bank until 1910, when 
he removed to Cape La Croix Creek. Joseph McFerron, an Irishman 
by birth and a man of superior education, was the first clerk of the 
courts of Cape Girardeau District. The town continued to grow and 
prosper until the organization of Cape Girardeau County, when it was 
dealt a severe blow by the removal of the seat of justice to Jackson. 
It did not assume a position of much importance until about 1835, 
when the great increase in the steamboat business on the Mississippi 
gave it a decided impetus, or, in modern parlance, a "boom." Its su- 
perior location soon made it the metropolis of Southeast Missouri and 
the shipping point for a portion of Arkansas also. On April 27, 1869, 
the Cape Girardeau & State Line Railroad Company was organized 
to build a road from Cape Girardeau to some point on the Arkansas 
State Line. The city of Cape Girardeau voted a subscription of $150.- 
000, and the township of Cape Girardeau an equal amount. With this 


money the work of construction was begun, but through improvident 
management the funds were exhausted before a single mile of road 
was completed. For ten years the road was abandoned. The wood- 
work decayed, and the road-bed grew up to underbrush. In 1880 Mr. 
Louis Houck became interested in the road, organized the Cape Girar- 
deau Railway Company, and on condition of completing the road from 
Cape Girardeau to Delta, a distance of sixteen miles, by January 1, 
1881, received a title to the property of the old Cape Girardeau & State 
Line Company. Mr. Houck, with characteristic energy, fulfilled the 
contract, and by August, 1881, had the road in operation as far as 
Lakeville, now called Advance, in Stoddard County, 12 miles beyond 
Delta. In 1882 the name of the company was changed to the Cape 
Girardeau Southwestern Railway Company, and the road extended 
to Brownwood, a distance of four miles. Besides extending this road, 
in course of time, to Williamsville on the Iron Mountain Railroad, 
and Hunter, he also built a branch road to Poplar BlufT and a road 
from Cape Girardeau to Caruthersville. His latest undertaking was 
the building of a road from this city via Jackson and Perryville to 
West Chester and Farmington. This part of the system is still in his 
possession, whereas the other portions have been acquired by the St. 
Louis & San Francisco Railroad Company. 

The above mentioned failure of the Cape Girardeau & State Line 
Railroad Company resulted most disastrously to the city. The heavy 
indebtedness did not present ani inviting aspect to manufactures and 
other capitalists. The next decade, therefore, passed between hope and 
fear, and little progress was made. The opening of the Cape Girardeau 
Southwestern Railroad and the funding and gradual reduction of the 
bonded debt revived courage and the spirit of enterprise. It was, how- 
ever, the building of St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad, the St. Louis- 
Memphis branch of this large system, that opened a new and wide 
avenue of activity and growth to the city and vicinity in 1904. Since 
then its population has grown from 4200 to about 12,000. 

Speaking of the efforts and institutions for education and learn- 
ing, we are brought into immediate contact with an event that was 
destined to become of vast influence on the ecclesiastical and educa- 
tional development of this region. This event is the establishment of a 
branch of the Congregation of Mission or the Vincentians, usually 
called Lazarists. 

In the year 1818, St. Mary's Seminary at The Barrens, in Perry 
County, was founded. It still flourishes as the Mother-house of the 
Vincentian Fathers for the western province of the United States. 
We may be permitted here to briefly state the facts that led to the 
establishment of the Congregation in our country. 

When, in 1808, Pope Pius VII, had raised the See of Baltimore 
into an archbishopric, the Most Rev. John Carroll, the first Archbishop 
of Baltimore, sent Rev. Wm. Du Bourg, who was a native of Bordeaux 
and a member of the Company of St. Sulpice, to New Orleans, 


entrusting him with the administration of that diocese. The Archbishop 
did, however, not long delay to petition the Holy See to appoint Father 
Du Boiirg to fill the vacancy of that bishopric, and Pius VII, did in 
fact so nominate him. He did not, however, receive then the episcopal 
consecration. Father Du Bourg, subsequently, went to Rome, though 
with the intention of refusing the episcopal consecration, if he were 
not able to find in Europe a sufficient number of laborers, willing to 
assist him in the cultivation of his truly desolate diocese. Divine Provi- 
dence granted his desires ; he obtained the co-operation of the saintly 
Father De Andreis and some dther missionaries, as we shall present- 
ly see. 

Father Du Bourg came to Rome in 1815, and, in his efforts to at- 
tain the principal purpose of his journey, spoke urgently about the 
great needs of his vast diocese to Cardinal Li'tta, then Prefect of the 
Congregation of Propaganda. His Eminence gave him some hopes of 
success, and meanwhile directed him to Monte Citorio, requesting, at 
the same time, the Vicar-General of the Congregation of the Mission, 
Father Sicardi, to provide him with suitable lodging. The first one 
to manifest an ardent desire to accede to the wishes of the Administra- 
tor of New Orleans and to follow him to his distant mission-field, was 
Father De Andreis, by whose personality Father Du Bourg had been 
deeply impressed in an interview. Thereupon, the Administrator en- 
treated Father Sicardi to give him Father De Andreis and two or three 
other priests of the Mission, besides a few brothers, to found a house 
of the Congregation and a seminary in Louisiana. Father Sicardi ex- 
pressed his deep regret that, on account of the then prevailing condi- 
tions, he was not able to comply with the Administrator's request. He 
emphasized especially the impossibility of dispensing with the services 
of Father De Andreis. Seeing that he could not gain the consent of the 
good old superior, Father Du Bourg resolved to address himself direct- 
ly to the Pope, and make him a formal petition on the subject. He 
concluded his urgent request with the words : "Holy Father, without 
the help of some priests, I feel that I shall have no longer strength 
to bear the formidable burden of a diocese, so vast that it is almost 
unlimited ; I shall, therefore, be obliged to resign it." The Pope con- 
soled him with the assurance that his request should be granted, and 
shortly after intimated to Father Sicardi that he wished him to accede 
to the appeal of the Administrator by giving him Father De Andreis 
and some others of his Congregation. 

But it was through the mediation of Cardinal Consalvi, the Secre- 
tary of State, that Bishop Du Bourg, who had been consecrated by Car- 
dinal Joseph Doria on Sept. 24, 1815, saw finally his persistent efforts 
crowned with success. The Holy Father deputed Cardinal Consalvi to 
settle the whole affair with Father Sicardi, Vicar-General of the Con- 

The venerable old man yielded to the wishes of the Pope, in which 
he saw the will of God. A memorable day was that of the 14th of Oc- 
tober, on which Bishop Du Bourg, surrounded by his little colony of 
missionaries, the Rev. Felix De Andreis, John Baptist Acquaroni, and 


Joseph Rosati ; Joseph Pereira, postulant priest, Leo Deys, a student of 
the Propaganda, and Anthony Boboni, a postulant lay brother, paid 
'their respects to the kindhearted Pius VII, and asked his blessing. In 
taking leave from Rome on the 15th of December, 1815, Father De 
Andreis, whose heart was overjoyed at the happy issue of Bishop 
Du Bourg's efforts in behalf of the foreign mission was accompanied 
with three more recruits for the mission, a priest of that city, 
and two young men who aspired to 'the ecclesiastical career ; one of the 
latter, Mr. Dahmen, afterwards entered the Congregation. From Pla- 
centia he took with him Brother Martin Blanka. Meanwhile, Bishop 
Du Bourg changed his plan regarding the establishment of the Con- 
gregation in Louisiana. He concluded that the missionaries should not 
proceed to New Orleans, situated about a hundred miles from the 
mouth of the Mississippi, but 'to St. Louis, on the banks of the same 
river, about 1200 miles above. It was on this account that the first 
house of the Mission with its seminary was built within the present 
diocese of St. Louis. 

On the 22nd day of May, 1816, the eve of the Ascension, Bishop 
Du Bourg arrived at Bordeaux, accompanied by a band of young men, 
partly ecclesiastics and partly secular, aspiring to the sacerdotal dig- 
nity. The final arrangements for their journey were made with the 
master of a brig, called the Ranger; and everything being satisfactorily 
concluded, the missionaries embarked on June 12, 1816. Bishop Du 
Bourg who was obliged to remain in France for the affairs of his dio- 
cese accompanied them to the harbor, and while bidding them farewell, 
exhorted them in the most pressing manner, to be obedient in every- 
thing to Father De Andreis, whom he constituted not only superior 
of this band, but also his vicar and representative in all that related 
to the concerns of his diocese. The following are the names of those 
that accompanied Father De Andreis : Fathers Rosati and Acquaroni, 
boith priests of the Congregation of the Mission, Fathers Carretti and 
Ferrari, secular priests from the city of Port Maurice on the Riviera ; 
IMessrs. Francis Xavier Dahmen, Joseph Tichitoli, Leo Deys, 
and Casto Gonzalez, seminarists ; Brother Martin Blanka of the Con- 
gregation of the Mission ; and three young men who had some inten- 
tion of entering the Congregation as lay-brothers. They landed safe 
and cheerful at Baltimore on July 26. The Sulpician Fathers received 
the newcomers on the American soil with brotherly kindness. 

Father De Andreis has in his letters left a lengthy and touching 
account of the dangers and difficulties, encountered by himself and his 
companions on their journey to St. Louis. At Bardstown they received 
the welcome intelligence that Bishop Du Bourg, with some thirty priests, 
had arrived at Baltimore, from which place he was on his way to 
Louisiana. Upon his request Bishop Flaget of Bardsitown proceeded 
with Fathers De Andreis and Rosati and Brother Blanka to St. Louis. 
On horseback they had to travel over 300 miles. When Bishop Flaget 
was in St. Louis to prepare for the coming of Bishop Du Bourg and 
the missionaries, two deputies from St. Mary's of The Barrens, 
twenty-four miles from Ste. Genevieve, came to see him. They were 


sent by the parish-priest, Father M. J. Dunand, (the last Trappist 
then remaining in Missouri), and, in the name of all the other in- 
habitants, amounting to 35 families ; and informed Bishop Flaget that 
they were sent to beg him to be their intercessor with Bishop Du Bourg 
on his arrival, that he might choose their parish for the foundation 
of the future seminary. They assured Bishop Flaget, who kindly 
listened to their representations, that this was the unanimous and 
urgent desire of all. They expressed their willingness to purchase for 
the said purpose 640 acres of land and to transfer it to the Bishop. 

While laboring for the good of souls at Ste. Genevieve, Father 
De Andreis had, near the end of 1817, the great satisfaction of re- 
ceiving his Bishop who came in company with Bishop Flaget. He ac- 
companied the two Bishops to St. Louis, where they made their formal 
entrance on the eve of the Epiphany, 1818, and were received with 
acclamations of joy. When the inhabitants of The Barrens, near the 
present town of Perryville, heard that Bishop Du Bourg, accompanied 
by several priests, had arrived in St. Louis, they sent delegates to re- 
new to him the request and the promises they had already laid before 
Bishop Flaget. Bishop Du Bourg, after having visited the place and ex- 
amined conditions, concluded to comply with the wishes of the good 
people. The first and principal care of the superior. Father De Andreis, 
whom the Bishop wished to retain in St. Louis, was to recall from 
Bardstown Father Rosati and his other missionaries whom he imme- 
diately sent to The Barrens for the double purpose of taking spiritual 
care of the colonists and of superintending and aiding by their per- 
sonal labor the building of a house of the community. The work was 
begun in the spring of 1818. The inhabitants of The Barrens were most 
generous wth their time and labor. Father Rosati became the first su- 
perior of the new house. Many of the priests whom Bishop Du Bourg 
had brought with him from Europe wished, very soon after their arrival, 
to enter the Congregation of St. Vincent. After due examination as 
to their calling and with the consent of the Bishop their evidently sin- 
cere desire was fulfilled. A heavy blow befell the young community 
when their first superior, the saintly Father De Andreis, passed away 
on October 15, 1820. His last act was to appoint Father Rosati his 
successor as superior of the American mission. 

The first mention which we find of religious work done in Cape 
Girardeau, is in a letter of Bishop Du Bourg to Father Rosati, written 
from New Madrid, on November 24, 1820, a few weeks after Father 
De Andreis' death. The Bishop was then on his way to Louisiana, and 
had stopped at New Madrid, to investigate the religious needs of that 
interesting old town. He dfrected the Superior of The Barrens to 
send a priest to that place three or four times a year ; here is what he 
suggested could be done at Cape Girardeau : 

He may go first to Cape Girardeau, and stop at Mr. Steinbach's, whose 
family are Catholic; there he will celebrate Mass for the little number 

of Catholics of that district. Thence 1 believe that at Cape Girardeau, 

too, they will contribute to defraying the expense of the Priest. 


The Bishop's wishes were complied with by Father Rosati, as 
we learn from a letter to Father F. Baccari, Vicar General of his Con- 
gregation, in Rome, written on May, 4, 1821 : 

Besides the sick calls and the confessions, Father Cellini has a 

French parish composed of seventy families, at New Madrid on the 
Mississippi River, at a distance of more than one hundred miles from 
the Seminary. He is going there three or four times a year, and remains 

four or five weeks every time Father Cellini started to go there last 

March, and will go again as soon as the church is finished. 

No express mention of Cape Girardeau is found in these lines ; 
but there can be no doubt that the journey was made, as Bishop Du 
Bourg had directed, with a stop at Cape Girardeau, and another at 
McCoy's house, half way between the Cape and New Madrid. Whether 
the project to return to New Madrid every three or four months was 
carried out after the departure of Father CeUini for Louisiana (July 
1822), and by whom, we have no means of ascertaining. When, on 
September 1824, Bishop Rosati sent Father Odin and Mr. Timon on 
an extensive mission tour to New Madrid and through Arkansas, they 
very likely stopped on the way at Mr. Steinbeck's, though Father Odin, 
in his account of the journey, mentions a stop at Jackson and says 
nothing of Cape Girardeau ; but the three days which it took them to 
cover the distance suggest naturally a rest then at Cape Cruz on the 
way south ; and another at the end of October on the return home of 
the two exhausted missionaries. But whatever of these occasional 
visits in passing, never was a thought given in these early times to the 
establishment of a Catholic Mission in Cape Girardeau. The field ap- 
peared simply unpromising : outside of the Steinbeck home, there were 
not supposed to be any Catholics in the place. That is exactly the reply 
given to Father Edmond Saulnier, as late as December 2, I83I, when, 
on his way to Arkansas Post, he stopped for a few moments at the 
Cape: "I asked" says he to Rosati, "in several houses if there were 
any Catholics at the place ; I received a negative answer." This was true 

For an account of the early steps of Catholicity in Cape Girardeau, 
we are indebted to a manuscript in the Archives of the Congregation 
of the Mission, written in August 1861, by one of the priests of St. 
Vincent's Church, at the Cape, and avowedly compiled with a view to 
preserving, ne percant, old odds and ends of papers recording the 
various events interesting the early history of the Parish. We subjoin 
now part of this manuscript, just as it is. Its sole merit — but this is 
great — lies in that it furnishes facts and dates, which otherwise would 
have long since been distorted, if they escaped the bottomless pit of 


God is zi'ondcrful in all his zvorks: 
We have only to follow the workings of divine Providence and observe 
attentively all His wonderful ways and the manner in which He accomplishes 
and brings out His designs in His own time to be convinced of this. The estab- 
lishment and progress of our holy religion at Cape Girardeau, state of Missouri, 
is a new proof that it is God alone who can and does turn everything to His 
greater honor and glory. Religious prejudice at Cape Girardeau was very bitter 
and the few Catholics who were at this place were so intimidated that they 
scarcely dared own themselves publicly as such. The place was the residence of 
the Spanish Commandante, himself a Catholic. There are yet living in the 
vicinity several of the relatives and lineal descendants of the old Commandante, 
but by intermarrying with Protestants they have all lost the faith and, as is 
always the case, they are the most bitter enemies of our holy religion. In the 
face of all this opposition our Lord had designs of mercy for this small but 
rising place. Let facts speak. 

In May 1828, the Rev. John Timon,i a priest of the Congregation of the 
Mission whose Mother-house was established forty miles north of this place in 
Perry County, Mo., was called by a man who as yet knew nothing of the Cath- 
olic religion and who was then under sentence of death at Jackson, the county- 
seat of this place. The culprit was in chains in a cell of the prison. While 
reciting to the prisoner the Apostolic Creed an outrageous attack was then and 
there made by a Baptist preacher on the Rev. J. J. Timon. Rev. J. J. Timon 
appealed to the public in behalf of the prisoner and stating that the poor man 
had a right to the services of any clergyman and said that he was there at the 
request of the prisoner.* 

1 The Life of Rev. John Timon, later Bishop of Buffalo, was written and published 
by Charles G. Deuther, under the title: The Life and Times of the Rt. Rev. John Timon, 
D. D., First Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, Buffalo, N. F., 1870. Although 
the Author had communication of a number of Timon's papers, yet his treatment of Father 
Timon's Life, prior to his elevation to the Episcopacy, is not as complete as could be desired. 

2 Bishop Timon, in his Diary of our starting the Barrois, narrates more fully the in- 
cident. "In the spring of 1828, Mr. Timon was called to Jackson, Cape Girardeau Co., about 
thirty miles from the Seminary, to see a murderer, who was under sentence of death, but 
who refused to receive any clergyman. The priest started immediately, arrived at night fall, 
sought admission to the prison, but on various pretexts admission was refused until the 
Baptist minister, Mr. Green, editor of the village newspaper and all-powerful there, was 
ready, with a band of anti-catholic bigots, to enter into the prison with the priest. Mr. 
Timon appealed to the jailer for privilege of speaking alone and in private to the con- 
demned man on affairs of his own conscience. It was refused. The culprit lay on straw 
strewn over the clay floor in the dungeon, chained to a post fastened. Finding that he 
would only be allowed to speak in the presence of the hostile crowd, the priest laid down 
on the straw with the prisoner, and began in a clear and loud tone which all might hear, 
to expound to the poor man the truths of religion — the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, future 
Rewards and punishments, the Redemption and the Sacraments. The culprit who, up to 
that moment, had laughed at all religious teaching, seemed deeply affected; tears flowed 
from his eyes; and the priest, judging the first lesson to be sufficiently long, fatigued, too, 
by the journey over a rough road, without eating from early in the morning till nine at 
night, told the prisoner that he would end the instruction by reciting with him the Apostles' 
Creed. The condemned man said the Creed aloud with the priest, until both had recited 
the words, 'And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord.' Green, the Baptist minister, then 
rushed and said: 'Do not deceive that poor man: do not make him lose his soul by teaching 
him the commandments of men.' 'Mr. Green,' said the priest, 'I am teaching him the 
Apostles' Creed. Do not you also hold that venerated Creed?' 'Oh!' he replied, 'but your 
Chudch is that idolatrous one that worships images and that gives to Mary the homage 
due only to God.' The priest replied: 'Mr. Green, not long since I preached in the Court 
House of this village on the very subject you now touch. I proved the charges against the 
ancient Church to be foul calumnies. You were present. I then called upon anyone, who 
could deny the truths which I announced, to come forward and show if there were any 
flaw in the evidence which I brought to prove that Catholics had been cruelly and most 
unjustly calumniated. You were silent. Surely that was your time, not this, when I am 
preparing an unhappy man who has sent for me, to aid him in meeting a death so certain 


In consequence of this attack and the appeal of Rev. J. J. Timon a religious 
discussion and controversy was held at the Courthouse in Jackson. The Hon. 
John D. Cook, judge of the circuit court, was appointed moderator.8 The Baptist 
preacher (Mr. Green) took as his assistant and associate Mr. G. D., circuit 
attorney of the district. After three hours' animated discussion the preacher 
and his assistant were completely dumbfounded. G, D., the assistant, first left the 
place. His principal soon followed and left the field to the Rev. J. J. Timon. 
The audience remained and the Rev. J. J. Timon in a discourse of half an hour 
drew his conclusions to the entire satisfaction of the audience. This was the 
first triumph for the Catholics at Jackson. Could it have been followed up 
great good could have been done. But labourers were wanting. 

The same day a timid Catholic made his confession in a room of the tavern. 
A Protestant had three of his children baptized. The Protestants who were, 
previous to this, at variance and disputing among themselves made peace and 
imited by the advice of their ministers to resist what they considered the com- 
mon enemy. 

Many were fully convinced of the truth of Catholicity. Mr. Ralph Dougherty 
had listened to the controversy and noted its consequences ; he was resolved for 
himself. Mr. H. S., brother-in-law of Ralph Dougherty being clerk of the 
circuit court, invited the Rev. J. J. Timon or any of the priests, when at Jackson, 
to make use of his house as their home. A few days after this the Rev. J. J. 
Timon without any opposition visited the poor prisoner whom he instructed and 
baptized, and the poor man was shortly after executed. 

From this time until 1832 little was done at the Cape. Some occasional visits 
were made to the family of Mr. L. Byrne, a good Irish Catholic four miles 
southwest of the Cape. This was the only place Mass was said in the vicinity 
for some years. 

Sept. 4th 1832. (Here I find no notes from 1828 to 1832). 

Mr. Dougherty sent Mr. Marvain on the 24th of September 1832 on express 
to the Barrens, Perry Co., to call the Rev. J. J. Timon to baptize said R. 
Dougherty. This being near the time of the exhibition and distribution of 
premiums at the College, Rev. J. B. Tornatore,* then Superior, could not con- 
sent to the departure of Rev. J. J. Timon at that time. 

and so near.' The minister. 

to meet him in the Court House 

after some vague and insulting charges challenged the priest 
3use next day and to discuss before the public the merits of 
their respective religions. The priest accepted the challenge. The minister immediately 
claimed the privilege of saying night prayers, knelt with his myrmidons, and made a long 
extemporaneous prayer, in which, among the insulting things, he prayed thus: 'And, O God 
of mercy, save this poor man from the fangs of Anti-Christ, who now seeks to teach him 
idolatry and the vain traditions of men.' When he had finished, the priest, at the top of 
his voice, cried to the crowd that then filled the dungeon: 'Gentlemenj is it right that 
in a prayer to the God of Charity and of truth this gentleman should introduce calumny 
against the majority of Christians?' A deep silence proved that all felt the appeal. It was 
late at night; the Sheriff required all to leave the dungeon. On quitting it the preacher 
renewed his challenge, and it was arranged that meeting should take place in the Court 

' "Each one was to speak only for half an hour at a time" (Timon's Diary). 

* Bom in Liguria, not far from Nice, in 1763, entered the Congregation of the Mission 
at Rome, on January 6, 1804; and after his novitiate, the completion of his studies and his 
ordination, was sent to Tivoli, where he remained only for a short time, the French occu- 
pation of the Papal States obliging all religious bodies to disband, and their members to 
return to their respective homes The fall of Napoleon once more opened to him the way 
to Rome, and he arrived at Monte Citorio March 1, 1815. After another sojourn at Tivoli, 
he was called back to the Eternal City to teach Dogma and act as Director of the Cont'itto 
of the Propaganda Students — the work, it will be remembered, of Father De Andreis before 


The exhibition took place on the 26th of Sept. 1832. On the next day, the 
27th, the Rev. J. J. Timon started for the Cape, where he arrived at dark, found 
Mr. Marvain, his wife and three children residing in Mr. Dougherty's house, 
and was informed that Mr. Dougherty was sick at his father's house, two miles 
below on the river. Father Timon took a small boat immediately and arrived 
at the elder Mr. Dougherty's and stayed there all night instructing Mr. Dougherty 
and family. Finding that Mr. Dougherty had been recently separated from his 
wife, the next morning early Rev. J. J. Timon started to see Mrs. Dougherty 
who resided at her father's house, Major B., to bring about, if possible, a recon- 
ciliation. Unable to accomplish his charitable design, Rev. J. J. Timon baptized 
here an infant child of Mr. R. Rougherty, which was then with the mother, and 
returned next day to the Cape., about twenty-two miles, and after due instruction 
baptized Mr. R. Dougherty and three of his children. The next day, at the 
Cape, in Mr. R. Dougherty's house he heard privately the confessions of the 
Marvain family, baptized a son of Miles Doyle, one of the first Catholic settlers. 
Then such was the prejudice of the place that he did not dare to say Mass 
publicly. So that the first time the Holy Sacrifice was oflfered at the Cape it 
was secretely and in the presence of only a few Catholics. 

In the month of October 1832, Mr. R. Dougherty took his three children, 
viz., two boys and a girl to the Seminary at the Barrens. The boys were placed 
in the College and the girl at the Sisters' School. Before Mr, R. Dougherty 
could obtain the consent of his wife to this arrangement he was forced to give 
a certificate in writing stating that Mrs. Dougherty, his wife, could at any time 
visit her children without molestation or any hindrance. But the prejudices of 
the mother were too strong to bear this. In November Mrs. Dougherty came 
to the convent.'' She had some men stationed around as guards. She persuaded 
the boys to leave with her and she took the three home. When the father heard 
of this he was furious. Rev. J. J. Timon Icept him tranquil for some time by 
letters ; but this state of things was too much for poor R. Dougherty. It preyed 
on his mind to think that he could not have the management and education of 
his own children. In the month of January, 1833, his excited mind having 
brought on frenzy, he made an attack on the house of Major B., his father-in- 
law, at whose house the children were kept. In the affray R. Dougherty was 
wounded and taken prisoner and confined in the jail at Jackson. Mr. R. Dougher- 
ty refused to have his wounds dressed or to hear any reason ; the only person that 
could have any control over the poor man, they said, was Father Timon. Con- 
sequently Mr. Evan Dougherty, the brother of the afflicted man, started to 
Perryville to see Father Timon. No sooner does the charitable Missioner hear 
of the trouble of his friend and child in Christ, than he starts for Jackson. On 
the 30th of January he arrives and finds Mr. Ralph Dougherty confined in the 
same cell with a man who was sentenced to death for murder. Rev. Father Ti- 

his departure for America — , and four years later (1820) Novice Master at Monte Citorio, 
where he remained only a short while, for we find him afterwards successively at Perugia, 
and once more at Tivoli. He was at Monte Citorio, and probably destined to the house of 
Civita-Vecchia, according to the wish of Pope Leo XII, when Bishop Rosati, who had long 
desired to have him for Superior at the Barrens, succeeded in obtaining him from the 
Superior General in 1829. He landed in New Orleans in April 1830, and reached the 
Seminary during the summer; there he received on January 6, 1831 his appointment to the 
office of Vice-Visitor of the American Lazarists, while Bishop Rosati maae him his Vicar- 
General. Relieved of the Superiorship at the Seminary in the fall 1837, he continued to 
reside there, teaching theology with great success until his death, at a ripe old age. 
8 "Bethlehem" the house of the Sisters of Loretto at Perryville. 


mon succeeded in calming Mr. R. Dougherty, and as soon as he had his wounds 
dressed and procured comfort for Mr. Ralph Dougherty, Father Timon turned 
his attention to the unfortunate man who was to be executed the next day. This 
poor fellow had come to the sad conclusion to die drunk. Father Timon com- 
menced to talk to the prisoner, but found him so much under the influence of 
liquor that all advice was lost on him. He was not capable of being instructed. 
Father Timon had all the liquor removed from the jail and requested the jailer 
not to let any more enter the jail that night. The next morning before day, 
Father Timon sent to the sheriff and obtained the keys of the jail, and entered 
the prison before any liquor could be brought to the culprit. This poor man 
now listened attentively to the instructions given by the holy priest. He was 
greatly moved. The light of hope and confidence in the mercy of God entered 
his soul. He professed his belief in Jesus Christ, was filled with sorrow for 
his past errors, shed an abundance of tears. Fr. Timon continued with the poor 
man and baptized him about an hour before he was led to execution. Oh ! the 
mercy of God to come to the help of this poor man in his very last hour ! 

Father Timon now returned to Mr. Ralph Dougherty and succeeded in calm- 
ing him completely. He then went to Major B., affected a reconciliation, ob- 
tained Mr. Dougherty's release from prison and persuaded Mr. R. Dougherty 
to absent himself for a time from the scene of his troubles (Jan. 31, 1833). 
Mr. Dougherty consented and went to New Orleans, where his health and mind 
was completely restored. 

January 31st 1833, the old Mr. Dougherty, father of Ralph Dougherty, made 
his confession and was received into the Church. He became a fervent Catholic. 
Father Timon was again called to the Cape on the i6th of February 1833. On 
the next day he baptized the family of Mr. Jeremiah Able, the son-in-law of 
the old Mr. Dougherty and on the i8th of the same month, baptized at Jackson 
Paul Dougherty, oldest son of Mr. Sanford, Mr. R. Dougherty's brother-in-law.^ 

Previous to Mr. Ralph Dougherty going to New Orleans, Rev. J. J. Timon 
prevailed on Mr. Ralph Dougherty to give up the youngest child to the care of 
its mother. During Mr. Ralph Dougherty's absence his father-in-law. Major 
B., pushed on a law-suit against Ralph Dougherty for more than $2,000.00. Ralph 
Dougherty not appearing to defend the suit, judgment was given against him, 
and all his property was levied upon.''' 

March 24th 1833. Mr. Henry Sanford, clerk of the circuit court, and brother- 
in-law of Mr. Dougherty, comes on express to the Seminary of the Barrens and 
relates to Rev. Timon all that Major B. had done during Ralph Dougherty's 
absence, stating that he, H. Sanford, had offered Major B. all of Mr. Ralph 
Dougherty's property, on which he, Major B. had already levied, if he would 
give a receipt in full for all his claims against Ralph Dougherty. This Major B. 
refused to do. Mr. H. Sanford here declared that he now saw plainly that 
Major b. intended to have Ralph Dougherty's property sacrificed at sheriff sale ; 

' "Ralph Daiiglierty's conversion, followed by that of several members of the San- 
ford family in Jackson, alarmed the enemies of the Church. Mr. Dougherty became the 
object of persecution. In the interim the same missionary (Father Timon) had begun a, 
Mission in Cape Girardeau. For six months, on each visit, he would say Mass, very pri- 
vately at 6 A. M. and give Communion to a few converts; then at 9, he would begin 
catechism for all the children he could collect, and at 11, preach for the great many Pro- 
testants who flocked to hear him. This was done in Mr. Dougherty's house." (Timon's Diary). 

T "It is the most beautiful property in the County. The Seminary (this was true until 
1893; now only a college is there) with its noble and spacious grounds, and the beautiful 
Church of St. 'Vincent stand on part of it" (Timon's Diary). 


that, at sheriff sale for cash, and with Major B's influence, the whole property 
would not in all probability bring more than fifteen hundred dollars, and that 
Mr. B. would keep the execution open for the balance in order to persecute Ralph 
Dougherty and imprison him when he pleased. Mr. H. Sanford pressed the 
Hev. Father Tornatore, then Superior at the Barrens, to purchase the whole 
property, which he, H. Sanford, offered for the cost and suit about twenty-five 
hundred dollars, stock and all on the farm. The gentlemen of the Seminary, 
thinking it wrong to profit by the misfortune of Mr. Ralph Dougherty, they 
gave Mr. H. Sanford a promise that they would purchase the property if Mr. 
Ralph Dougherty could do no better, but advised Mr. Sanford to remove the 
lien on the property and that then, when Mr. Ralph Dougherty was free from 
force, they would purchase the property at a fair valuation. Mr. H. Sanford 
returned to Jackson to make arrangements. On the 28th of March Mr. H. San- 
ford returned to the Seminary with Mr. Ralph Dougherty, who had lately re- 
turned from New Orleans. Mr. Ralph Dougherty is very anxious to dispose of 
his property and being no longer forced by the suit of Major B., the gentlemen 
of the Seminary enter into arrangements with Messrs. Sanford and Dougherty, 
and finally conclude to take the property or land alone for thirty-two hundred 
dollars. The stock makes another and separate contract. Twenty-five hundred 
dollars is paid on the signing of the deed ^ and by the arrangement of Mr. Ralph 
Dougherty seven hundred dollars are to be retained by the Seminary for the 
education, board and lodging' of Mr. Ralph Dougherty's sons at St. Mary's 
Seminary. The Seminary takes possession of the house and property in the city 
of Cape Girardeau. The father of Mr. Ralph Dougherty, having sold his farms, 
the gentlemen of the Seminary agree to permit old Mr. Dougherty to live for 
a time on the farm, rent free. 

In April and May, Mr. Ralph Dougherty made frequent visits to the Semi- 
nary, lodging for many days at a time. During this time Mr. R. Dougherty 
made his first Communion and was confirmed. 

June 23rd Rev. Father Timon was called to the Cape by Evan Dougherty 
to see his brother Ralph Dougherty who was very ill. The good priest started 
immediately. He heard the confession of Ralph Dougherty and that of the old 
man Dougherty.^ Hearing that the widow H. Smith was alarmed on account 
of the cholera. Rev. Father Timon started across the swamp nine miles to visit 
this good family, consoled them and then returned by a circuitous route to Jack- 
son. It was dark when he arrived at Jackson. Here he was informed that old 
man Dougherty was dead.^** Rev. Timon although he had ridden on horseback 
all day, set out immediately for the Cape and arrived at the cabin on the Swamp 
farm two miles below the Cape. When he arrived there, after ten o'clock P. M., 

8 Mr. Timon went to Potosi and negotiated with Mr. John Casey for a loan of $2,000. 
He went to St. I.ouis to negotiate it; and in passing by a village, Selma, got a rich pro- 
testant, Capt. J. N. White, to endorse the draft. When the Rt. Rev. Bishop [Rosati] first 
saw Mr. Timon, he showed anger at the purchase of which he had heard; but when he 
found that the purchase money had been found without calling upon him, he was much 
pleased" (Timon's Diary). 

9 "Mr. Timon, returning from New Madrid, stopped at evening at the log-house of 
the aged Dougherty; as it was full of company, all protestant, the late convert walked out 
in the garden to unburden his conscience to his spiritual father" (Timon's Diary). 

10 "He stopped there to refresh himself and to feed his horse, about 8 p.m. Just as 
he was starting to ride, as very commonly he had to do, all night, a messenger came to 
tell him that the old man had been struck with the cholera, and begged his spiritual father, 
to return. Through the rain, which began to fall, the priest hastened to the cabin, in the 
wild forest, which he had left a few hours before. Mr. Dougherty was already dead (Ibid). 


he found the old man Dougherty a lifeless corpse, still in the same bed in 
which he had expired, his wife and family sleeping by and around the dead 
body. There being no other bed in the house, Rev. Timon, exhausted with 
fatigue, took some rest on the same bed with the cholera corpse.^^ Early in 
the morning Mrs. Dougherty, the wife of Mr. Dougherty, became a Catholic 
and made her first confession with great compunction and to the great edifica- 
tion of all present.i2 Father Timon arranged everything for the decent inter- 
ment of Mr. Dougherty, and on his return to Jackson visited and consoled 
many cholera patients. Near Jackson, Father Timon administered the sacraments 
to Mrs. Green, who. to the great surprise of all, recovered. The daughter of 
Mrs. Green, though yet a Protestant, declared to the neighbors that she had 
been cured by the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. She declared that as soon 
as Father Timon finished the prayers, her mother had no more pain and re- 
covered in a few hours her usual health. 

On the 6th of July, 1833, at the request of Mr. Samuel Morton, Rev. Father 
Timon raised and dressed an altar in the brick house in the rear of Mrs. Ellis' 
house, where Mr. Morton then resided. In this place, Rev. Timon said Mass. 
Very few Catholics present. He gave the Holy Communion to Mrs. Morton. 
This is the first time Holy Communion was given publicly at the Cape. 

July 7th 1833. Rev. Timon was busily occupied until late at night to arrange 
an old frame warehouse which stood near the river in front of our house, the 
former residence of the Spanish Commandante. Having finished and decorated 
a neat altar and seats for the congregation, the candlesticks and the altar were 
presented by Mr. Miles Doyle. The next day, July 8th. Rev. Timon celebrated 
Mass publicly and preached to a large congregation, most Protestants. He was 
heard with great respect and attention ; and could Rev. Timon have remained 
here, or some priest speaking the English language fluently, all prejudice would 
have been removed ; but for many years those stationed here were foreigners, 
very holy and zealous men, but not well understood. The old frame house 
served as chapel for some years. Father Timon before leaving made arrange- 
ments to build a good log house at the farm in the swamp, lately purchased 
from Mr. Ralph Dougherty. The contract was concluded with the Major. The 
same day Rev. Timon baptized Mr. Jeremiah Able and wife. The Rev. Father 
Timon went every six weeks^^ to preach at the Cape and say Mass at the frame 

11 "The forest was intensely dark, the rain began to fall in torrents: it was impossible 
for the priest to resume his journey; it was midnight. The convert (Mrs. Dougherty) kindly 
prepared a place for him to take his rest; the company had to sleep on the floor; the only 
bed in the house was occupied by the corpse. It was pushed up against the wall, a clean 
sheet spread near it, and the Missionary was invited to share the bed of the dead man. He 
did so, and slept soundly" (Ibid.) 

12 The Diary states that Mrs. Dougherty's conversion, instruction, confession, and bap- 
tism took place in the evening, as soon as Father Timon arrived at the house. For, imme- 
diately af*er stating that, on reaching the Dougherty cabin, he found the old man "was 
already dead" (See Note 8 above), he goes on to say: "The priest said some prayers, and 
a few words of exhortation. The aged wife of the deceased then declared that she would 
wish to become a Catholic. After instructing her, as there was but one room, the Mis- 
sionary requested the company to withdraw, and shelter themselves the best they could, for 
a few minutes. During that stay he heard the confession of the mourning wife, as she 
knelt against the bed on which lay her husband who had just breathed his last. The com- 
pany was then called in, and the old lady was baptized sub conditione, and expressed her 
great consolation at being a member of the true Church." Then follows in the Diary the 
account of the preparations for sleeping the rest of the night, as in Note 9. 

13 "At first once in three months, then once a month, Mr. Timon rode down from 
the Barrens, said Mass .preached and catechized, with very happy results in dissipating the 
prejudices of the people" (Ibid). 


chapel. He had the consolation to have always a large audience. Many chil- 
dren came to catechism and were baptized. 

From this time the Gentlemen of the Seminary began to purchase lots in 
the Cape, and land near it, for fair prices. Poor Ralph Dougherty during the 
following winter, because again deranged in his mind, though the Seminary had 
purchased all his stock on the farm — the poor man claimed them again, and to 
avoid trouble and litigation, little by little the cattle were given up to Mr. Ralph 
Dougherty, and the seven hundred dollars left for the education of Mr. Ralph 
Dougherty's children was reclaimed and drawn for by himself and his mother. 
This sum was paid again, for peace sake, for there was no obligation to pay it. 
Add to this, the Seminary gave Mr. Dougherty more than another hundred 
dollars in different ways. (During the remainder of this year nothing particular 
is mentioned in the kind of journal before me). 

October 1835 — Singular Coincidence — 

In October, Very Rev. J, B. Tornatore went down very unexpectedly to the 
Cape, taking with him Rev. J. J. Timon.^* No priest was expected at this 
time.i'* Shortly after their arrival ^^, Mr. William Watson ^^ called on Father Ti- 
mon, requesting him tc visit his mother-in-law, who was very ill, even danger- 
ously ill. To the enquiries made by the priest Mr. Watson replied that neither 
he, nor his wife, nor his mother-in-law, nor any of the family were Catholics. 
The Rev. Father Timon started immediately to visit the sidk person, but did 
not take with him the holy oils or ritual. He found the sick chamber thronged 
with the children and grand-children of the patient, all Protestants. After con- 
versing with the sufferer for some time, instructing ber and finding in her all 
the proper dispositions, for God had touched her heart, and she professed a 
firm belief in Jesus Christ, and firmly believed in all the holy truths explained 
to her, Mr. Timon seeing that no time was to be lost, as the person was in 
great danger, he left the room saying that he would soon return to administer 
the good lady all the Sacraments necessary for her present situation and to 
receive her into the Catholic Church. As Rev. Timon left the room Mrs. W. 
Watson, daughter of the sick woman, followed him and said: "Sir, there is 
something extraordinary in all this. My mother has never been in a Catholic 
church, she never but once heard a Catholic priest, she knows nothing of the 
Catholic doctrine, yet she has for months past been expressing a desire to be- 
come a Catholic,i8 and she frequently requested those near her to send for a 
priest. Last night, in a dream or vision, she said a man, clothed like you are 
now, entered her room and gave her what I believe you call a crucifix to kiss ; 
at the same time an interior voice said to her, 'Do what this person tells you. 
and you shall be saved.' She immediately begged of us to send to the Seminary 
for a priest. But not thinking it necessary, and as it was very inconvenient, 

14 Their purpose was to complete some arrangements regarding the deeds of the property. 

15 Because this trip to Cape Girardeau was made about only two weeks after the regu- 
lar visit. 

16 The two priests had reached tlie Cape at dusk. Mr. Wm. Watson called on Father 
Timon half an hour later fTimon's Diary). 

IT "One of the most respectable citizens of the place" (Ibid.); he was some years later, 
elected Mayor of Cape Girardeau. 

18 The Diary adds here: "Yet she has thought for months that she hears a voice say- 
ing almost continually to her: 'If you want to be saved, you must become a Catholic' She 
often related this to us, and begged us to send for you; but we thought it only a childish 
freak of a wandering mind, and we refused." 


we declined and tried to put her off. But she could not be pacified, and was just 
repeating and urging the same request, when we were informed that you had 
arrived." Rev. Father Timon hastened to procure all that was necessary for the 
administering of the sick. As soon as he entered the room of the patient, he pre- 
sented the crucifix to her. All present were struck and observed with what fervor 
and emotion she pressed the crucifix to her lips. The instructions were made aloud 
for the benefit of the large company present. The old lady was baptized sub 
conditionc ; her confession was heard, and in the course of the next day, at her 
earnest request, all the sacraments were administered to her. She died that 
night in peace and joy, edifying all around her by her patience and the great 
confidence she expressed in the mercy of her crucified Savior. Her name was 
Esther Bradl)', widow of Solomon Thorn.^^ The next morning two of her 
married daughters brought their children to be baptized. It will be seen in the 
sequel that all the persons in the room at the time — ten or twelve persons — 
became Catholics. ^o 

April 9th 1836. The first colony was sent from St. Mary's Seminary to 
settle at the Cape. It consisted of Rev. John M. Odin,-'i Mr. J. B. Robert,- 
a Postulant, with Harry, his wife Minty and their child Juliana. ^^ Under the 

19 "The priest enquired something about her antecedent life, and was told that she 
had always been distinguished for charity to the poor and sick. It was this, no doubt, that 
drew down a special mercy on her last end" {Ibid.). 

'"' "Many years after (1840), when there was a fine stone church of St. Vincent on 
the same spot, the Right Rev. de Forbin-Janson confirmed the last convert of that family" 
a bid.), 

21 John Mary Odin, born February 25, 1800, at Ambierle, then in the Diocese of 
Lyons, France. After his classical studies first at Verrieres, he entered the Seminary of 
I'Argentiere for his philosophy, and thence the theological Department at Alix, where he 
received subdeaconship in 1821, and decided, early in the next year to enlist for the American 
Missions. Arrived at the Barrens in August 1822, with five companions, he completed there 
his theological studies, and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Du Bourg, May 4, 
1823. Meantime (November 8, 1822) he had entered the Novitiate of the Lazarists. After 
his Ordination he remained at the Seminary, occupied in teaching and in the care of the 
parish. After his short stay at the Cape, he went back to the Seminary, which he left in 
1840 for the Texas Missions. He was made, March 6, 1842 Vicar Apostolic of Texas, the 
title being changed a few years later into that of Bishop of Galveston. In 1861 Bishop Odin 
was transferred to the Archbishopric of New Orleans. In 1869 he went to Rome to attend 
the Vatican Council, but falling sick in Rome he left the Eternal City for his natal home 
in Ambierle, where he died in May 1870. There has been published in French a life of 
Bishop Odin: Vie de Mgr. Jean Marie Odin, Missionaire Lasariste Archeveque de la Nou- 
velle-0 deans. Paris 1896. 

22 Like Bishop Odin, John Baptist Robert was a native of the Diocese of Lyons, and 
born in 1800. He came to America in 1835 with a number of French and Italian ecclesiastics 
brought by Father Odin. The following year he entered the Congregation of the Mission. 
It was very likely to learn English he was sent to the Cape at the same time as Father 
Odin. He was ordained by Bishop Rosati in 1839 and remained at the Barrens, where he 
worked as assistant pastor until his death, February 4, 1835. See Catholic Cabinet, Vol. II, 
p. 704; United States Catholic Maijasine and Monthly Review, April 1845 p. 270. 

23 "Heavy rains made all the creeks so high as to necessitate swimming. There was 
much difficulty. Mr. Timon swam across on horseback, examined, found a less difficult pass, 
recrossed, and brought over Mr. Odin and the company. All had to remain over night at 
Jackson, ten leagues from the Seminary. Early in the morning the Visitor (Father Timon; 
he had been appointed in 1835 Visitor of the Lazarist Province in America) started to say 
Mass, according to appointed time, in Cape Girardeau: the rest, who were much fatigued, 
remained to t.nke breakfast. He (Father Odin) reached the Cape, twelve miles distant, at 
11 a. m., during the Mass. Mr. Timon introduced Mr. Odin to the congregation as their 
future pastor, and alluded, as far as the well known humility of Mr. Odin permitted, to 
the virtues, learning and zeal of the pastor whom God gave them, and to the great services 
he had already rendered to religion, with hopes that Providence prepared for Cape Girar- 
deau through him still greater blessings" (Ibid.). 

To the above details must be added the following, which shows vividly one of the 
outstanding features of Father Timon's character, — the man of decision: "Some persons," 
goes on the Diary's narrative, "of bad and impure life had, w'ithout riven asking permission, 
located themselve's in an out-house; nor could the Visitor get them out by process of law 
that might require one or two months' time. He consulted Protestant friends skilled in the 
law and who already leaned to Catholicity: by their advice, and by them under his authority, 
the house was pulled down whilst the inmates had gone visiting; and thus Mr. Odin was 
saved from annoyances and responsibility." 


charitable and zealous administration of Rev. Odin, the Congregation began to 
assume a form at the Cape. The Protestants were impressed with love and 
respect for the holy priest. The name of St. Vincent de Paul was given to the 
new and rising congregation. When Rev. Odin arrived at the Cape, the inhabit- 
ants generally manifested great satisfaction on seeing a priest stationed among 
them. The number of Catholics was but small. The families then known as 
belonging to the Church were those of Nicholas B. Miles, nine persons in num- 
ber; Mrs. Nathan and her son-in-law, eight persons; Mr. Marto and two chil- 
dren (all the above recent immigrants from Maryland) ; Bernard Layton and 
family, five in number; James B. Hagan's family, seven in all; the widow 
Marvin's, four in number, lately from Perry County ; John Mattingly and family, 
four in number, lately from Kentucky; Miles Doyle, an old resident of this 
place, who left Ireland when young; John Roach, who had to fly from Ireland, 
being a United Irisman (this man's brother, a priest, was shot by the Orange 
men; John was kneeling on his coffin to be shot when his reprieve came from 
the King) ; Mrs. Hannah Smith, eleven in family, from Maryland ; Jeremiah 
Able and his mother-in-law, converts, six in number at Jackson; Mrs. Sanford 
and three children; two daughters of Nathan Vanhorn who were converted and 
baptized at Bethlehem Convent whilst at school there ; the widows Atwell and 
Green; John Corvelle, nineteen in family, which makes altogether eighty-seven 
Catholics at the Cape and environs, consisting of adults, children and servants. 
Every Sunday the small frame chapel was crowded, and frequently on great 
festivities it could not contain all that came from a great distance. 2* Those of 
different denominations composed the greater number of the audience. They 
expressed a great desire to hear the word of God explained by the priest; so 
much so that even when a Protestant preacher held meeting in the school house, 
many preferred going to the Catholic chapel. They always acted with becoming 
decorum and listened most attentively to the explanations of holy tenets and 
ceremonies. Prejudices so deeply rooted in this place semed to die away grad- 
ually and even the most strict amongst the different sects declared publicly that 
it would be useless for them to erect a meeting house"^ as the Catholics would 
soon draw all the population to their church. However, two years later, they 
built a Baptist meeting house, which, by the way, has seldom had any regular 
minister, and this same meeting house has served for every kind of meetings, 
political speeches, railroad meetings, etc., and it is used by all sects indiscrimi- 
nately. Rev. Odin was beloved by all and was welcomed whenever he presented 
himself, and religion was sure to be the topic of conversation wherever he 

24 Very early a new church was seriously contemplated. On June 14, 1836, Father 
Odin wrote to the Visitor: "Mr. Alton will not be able to undertake building our church. 
Mr. Johnson's house will keep him busy until the month of September, and then he has 
to build a bridge over at Cape Cruz.... Try, therefore, to contract with Valerio. It would 
be most desirable that steps were taken at once. Our chapel is absolutely too small. A 
Frenchman from Louisiana, Mr. Gourrier, is decided to settle at the Cape.... He subscribed 
$50.00 for the church; Mr. Mattingly, $25.00; Bishop Rosati has promised $100.00, and the 
$112.00 of Card. Weld, will furnish us, together with the old subscription, nearly $800.00. 
I think that, without appealing to Protestants we shall gradually find the funds needed. 
Once the building is under way, we will have more courage to ask. Some persons whom I 
went to see told me they had no confidence in subscriptions, and that they would con- 
tribute when they see the work begun" (Original in Catholic Archives of America, Univ. 
of Notre Dame, Ind., Case Lasarists, L. 28). 

25 That it was not so from the outset, is gathered from the above quoted letter of 
Odin to Timon: "The Anabaptists, thanks to the instructions of Mr. Green, have taken new 
courage, and again are talking of building their meeting-house." 


Mrs. Ellen Atwell, an old lady from Maryland, who had not seen a priest 
for thirty-three years, availed herself of the opportunity, made a general con- 
fession, received Holy Communion and continued faithfully to approach the 
Sacraments until her death. The following year many attempts were made to 
induce her to abandon her religion and join some sect; but she remained tirm 
and grateful to God, who had once more given her the chance and means to dis- 
charge her religious duties. Mr. John Roach, the Irish refugee, had long resided 
in this neighborhood, and although he made a profession of the Catholic faith 
and was an able and warm defender of his faith, yet he had not approached the 
Sacraments for more than forty years; he was moved by the good example, 
returned to his duties, made a general confession and became a fervent and 
exemplary member, frequently walking five miles fasting to hear Mass and 
approach the Sacraments. The Catholics in general were very fervent and reg- 
ular in frequenting the Sacraments. 

Mrs. Sarah Erving, daughter of the aforesaid Mrs. Atwell, had been bap- 
tized in her infancy, but had no recollection of having ever seen a priest; she 
came for instructions and, after due preparation, made her fiiSt Communion. 
During her long illness, which terminated her earthly career, she gave great 
edification by her lively faith, patience, resignation to the will of God. Her holy 
death made a great impression on all who witnessed it. 

The catechism was regularly taught every day, when some few children 
presented themselves. On Sunday the catechism was taught once for the white 
children, and a second time for colored persons, who manifested a great desire 
to be instructed, and many became good Catholics. These attended in great 
numbers. Rev. Odin visited occasionally the few families scattered about the 
country at Jackson, Moses Byrne's family across the big swamp. Dr. Golden at 
Commerce, etc. The family of Moses Byrne have all fallen off and have no 
religion. There were about twenty persons of different ages belonging to Prot- 
estant families baptized by Mr. Odin, and many others were preparing when he 
was recalled to the Seminary on Nov. 3, 1836. A few months before his de- 
parture, a few more Catholic families came to reside at the Cape, viz., Mr. John 
Doyle whose wife was not a Catholic, Thos. B. English, George Boarman and 
some few others. 

Father Odin was succeeded by the Rev. John Boullier^s and Rev. John 
Rosti.27 Brother Daniel Harrington accompanied them to take charge of the 

^ John Bouillier was born at Roanne, in the Diocese of Lyons, of a well-to-do family, 
on September 12, 1801. He was studying theology in the Diocesan Seminary when, a band 
of volunteers being formed for the American Missions, he joined it, and came to the 
Barrens in March 1824. Shortly after, he begged admittance into the Congregation, was 
received the 7th of December 1825, and was ordained a few months later. He was then 
sent to Old Mines, where he worked with great success, remaining until 1831, when, after 
his father's death, he had to go to France to settle his family affairs. After his return 
he stayed again for a while at Old Mines. On leaving Cape Girardeau, he was stationed 
at Donaldsonville, La. About 1850, owing to the precarious condition of his health, broken 
down by twenty-five years of missionary labors, he was sent back north, and later on, 
called to the Mother-House, in Paris, where he died. — His letter of appointment to Cape 
Girardeau is dated November 13, 1836. 

27 Was one of the young Milanese who, at the ijivitation of Bishop Du Bourg, came 
to America in company with Father Rossetti. He was then twenty years of age. Some time 
after coming to the Barrens (January 5, 1819), he joined the Lazarist Community, made 
his novitiate under Father Rosati, continued his studies and was ordained in October 1821. 
He first was sent to Lower Louisiana, on account of his frail constitution, and was, some 
time later (1836) appointed Pastor of the Parish of Grand Coteau, and Director of the 
House of the Ladies of the S. Heart in that parish. He remained there until 1833. He died 
at the Barrens the 14th of January 1839. 


swamp farm. John Hutcheson and family, together with some work hands for 
the farm arrived the same day that Mr. Odin left the Cape. The number of 
Catholics began to increase. Rev. John BouUier repaired the house and garden 
in a very neat manner. He conciliated to himself the respect and esteem of all 
the inhabitants of the city and vicinity. Rev. Boullier began to make prepara- 
tions for the erection of a new Catholic church when he was called to the Semi- 
nary at the Barrens. 

February 2nd 1837. During this year 1837 the Cape was visited from time to 
time by Rev. Timon as formerly. It was on one of these visits that Mrs. Sarah 
Watson, wife of Wm. Watson, in consequence of what she had seen and heard 
at the death of her mother, as related above, applied to Father Timon, who was 
at the Cape on a visit of charity, to be received into the Catholic Church. Her 
request was granted; she was instructed and baptized by Father Timon that 
same day, and after some time made her first Communion. She has always 
persevered and remained a fervent Catholic. This family has been the constant 
friend of priests, and was of great assistance to our Missionaries in the com- 
mencement at the Cape. It was these good people who took care of the chapel 
and of the priests when sick. They still live near the church (Sept. 23, i86t). 

March 17th 1838. Rev. John Brands^s was sent to the Cape to replace Rev. 
John Boullier. The number of adults, viz., those who had made their first Com- 
munion was, at Cape Girardeau and vicinity, forty -three; of those who had not 
made their first Communion about the same : in all about eighty-six persons. 

April 2nd 1838. Mary, the wife of Mr. John Doyle was baptized suh con- 
ditione, and on the same day, Easter Sunday, she made her first Communion. 
April 29th 1838, the Rt. Rev. Joseph Rosati, Bishop of St. Louis, gave confirma- 
tion at the Cape to ten persons, among whom were three converts, viz., Mrs. 
Doyle, Mrs. Wm. Watson and Mrs. Garaghty.29 This is the 'first time Confirma- 
tion was administered at the Cape. April 30th 1838, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Rosati 
laid and blessed the cornerstone of the new church, assisted by the very Rev. 
John Timon, the Revs. Brands and Rosti. A very numerous assemblage of 
people of all denominations were in attendance and behaved with great respect 

^ Came to America from the Mother-House in Paris together with Peter Doutreluingne, 
Van Cloostere, Lefevcre: all were recruits secured by Father De Neckere during his sojourn 
in Europe. He made his vows on the 10th of December 1829, being then twenty-five years 
of age. After his Ordination he was missioned to Old Mines, with his fellow-countryman 
Father Doutreluingne. 

" He had come to the Cape on the 26th. His Diary informs us in detail of all that 
happened during the five days he stayed in the new parish: 

"April 26. Thursday. At half past three in the morning we arrived at Cape Girardeau 
(he was coming by steamboat from St. Louis). I went at once to the house of the Con- 
gregation of the Mission, where the Revs. Brands and Rosti are stationed, together with 
Brother Harrington. Said Mass in the private chapel of the house. After dinner we went on 
a walk, and tried to find a site where to build the church, but could not determine on 
any. Saw Mr. Doyle. 

27. Friday. Said Mass in the chapel of the house. A 8 o'clock p.m. Father Timon comes 
from the Seminary. 

28. Saturday. Said Mass in the same place. Examined various sites inside and outside 
the town; and finally chose for the church to be built a place near the house where the 
priests of the Congregation are living. Mr. Gibbony donated twenty feet of land alongside 
the plot where the church is to be erected. 

29. Second Sunday after Easter. Said Mass at 6 o'clock in the chapel. At 10 o'clock, 
we went to the church. Father Brands said a low Mass, after which and the singing of the 
Veni Creator Spiritus, I spoke in English on the Sacrament of Confirmation, and administered 
the same to ten persons, among whom were three converts; concluded with some advice on 
perseverance. At 3 p. m., Singing of the Vespers, and Sermon by Father Timon." 


and attention. The Bishop preached a long sermon, in which he explained the 
meaning of the ceremonies used at the blessing and laying of the 
Mr. Andrew Gibony, not a Catholic, gave the breath of twenty feet of the two 
lots adjoining ours for the purpose of building the church thereon. On the same 
day the Bishop baptized the wife of Miles Doyle and rehabilitated their mar- 
riage. May 1st Rev. J. Rosti left the Cape, and a short time after the Rev. John 
Alabau was sent as companion to Rev. J. Brands, but remained only until the 
feast of St. Vincent, July 19, 1838. 

May 29th 1838. Rev. J. Brands crossed the big swamp to bury Moses Byrne. 
He found there a large number of people collected for the occasion. Before 
going to the burying ground, Fr. Brands explained the meaning of the ceremonies 
performed at the funeral and the doctrine of Purgatory and prayers for the 
dead, and, after having returned to the house, he gave an explanation of the 
principal points of the Catholic doctrine. This lasted about two hours. All were 
attentive and pleased. He here baptized the youngest son of Mr. Byrne and 
two of his grandchildren. The people of this neighborhood were opposed to 
the Protestants, and particularly displeased with the Methodist preachers who 
had ben among them, and, being well pleased with what they had heard of the 
Catholic religion (this was the first time they had ever heard a Catholic priest), 
they requested Rev. Brands to return among them and preach. To this he 
agreed and promised to visit them from time to time. 

August 29th, Mr. Brands being across the swamp, he preached there for 
the third time, and hearing that a neighbor of Mrs. Byrne, named John Calhoun, 
was dangerously ill, and remembering that said gentleman had already listened 
to the instructions with great interest, and that he had even asked for books 
to instruct himself, Father Brands went to visit Mr. Calhoun and found him 
so well disposed and instructed by reading the books lent to him, that, after 
exhortations, he baptized the good man that same night, and next morning left 
the sick man very much comforted and resigned. He also baptized at this time 
a grandchild of Moses Byrne. 

"" "April 30. Monday. Sail Mass in the same place. At 11, preached to the people on 
the blessing of the first stone; then, putting on the pontifical robes, we went to the place 
where the church is to built, and with the customary ceremonies I blessed the first stone, 
and placed it in the foundations. As a testimony there«f, I enclosed in a glass vial, put into 
the stone, a paper with the following inscription: 

The 30th of April 

of the year of the Incarnation 1838, 

the 62nd of the declaration of American Independence, 

under the Pontificate of Pope Gregory XVI, 

Martin Van Buren being President of the U. S., 

Lilburn W. Boggs Governor of Missouri, 
the Rt. Rev. Joseph Rosati Bishop of St. Louis, 
assisted by Very Rev. John Timon, V. G. of the Diocese, 
and Visitor of the Cong, of the Mission, 
and of Revs. John Rosti and John Brands, C. M., 
solemnly blessed 
this corner stone of the Church 
to be built 
to Almighty God 
under the invocation of St. Vincent de Paul 
in the town of Cape Girardeau, 
and placed it in the foundations in the presence of a great concourse of people. 

In the same hollow of the stone was also placed the last issue of the following news- 
papers: Catholic Advocate, Cape Girardeau Patriot and Western Advocate, and in the glass 
had also been put a small silver coin of the United States minted last year. 

N. B. — The church will be 36 ft. wide, 69 long and 24 high; it is to be of stone." 
The next morning, at 6 o'clock the Bishop left Cape Girardeau. 


October i8th, Father Brands baptized James Jones, who had instructed him- 
self in the Catholic faith. About a year after, this good man died in fine dis- 
positions and gave great edification during his sickness. — R. I. P. 

October 22nd 1838. Our day school, named St. Vincent's Male Academy, 
was opened with only a few scholars. Mr. M. Flinn was the first teacher. 

October 23rd. The Sisters of Loretto from Bethlehem Convent, Perry 
County, arrived at the Cape, seven in number, with six boarders whom they 
brought with them. The Sisters were lodged in our house, where they remained 
until July of the next year. The priests removed to the small house on the 
opposite side of the street, which had been lately purchased from Mr. Jones. 
In July the Sisters removed to the house purchased for them from Mr. J. Doyle. 
The good Sisters commenced their school in the new house with as little human 
prospects as we had commenced our school for boys. Many of the citizens were 
still very much prejudiced against us. John McLane, a Presbyterian preacher, 
did all in his power to oppose our schools, and for this purpose he opened a 
school for boys and girls. However, his preaching and teachiiig so much dis- 
pleased the people., that he lost all popularity and had, after some time, to give 
up his school and pulpit. Both our schools increased gradually and were the 
cause of great good in the way of removing prejudice. 

November 2nd, Rev. Brands, at the request of Mr. John Doyle, paid a visit 
to the family of Mr. S. Glascock. Two of his children were very ill. Mr. Glas- 
cock permitted the children to be baptized. One of the children died in a short 
time and is now in bliss. The family of Mr. Glascock were strong Methodists, 
but since the death of their child they inclined to the Catholics. 

During this year four marriages have been rehabilitated, and several chil- 
dren of Protestants have ben baptized. The number of Paschal Communions 
at the Church of St. Vincent, Cape Girardeau, was thirty-five. Three of these 
were first Communions. 

At the station of Jackson, where Mass was celebrated once a month, the 
number of those who had made their first Communion was fourteen, of those 
who had not made it, eighteen ; thirty-two in all. The number of adults and 
communicants at the station Tiwopity Bottom was fourteen, of non-communi- 
cants, thirteen; in all twenty-seven. Paschal Communions in all the Missions 
were fifty-one. During the year there had been but five deaths in the three 
places, viz., three adults and two children. 

1839. The number of adults in the Congregation of Cape Girardeau at the 
commencement of this year was fifty-eight ; of these many had not made their 
first Communion. The number of communicants at Jackson was twelve : those 
who had not made their first Communion, eighteen ; Paschal Communions, nine. 
At Tiwopity Bottom twenty-two communicants ; four first Communions. So 
that in the three places the Paschal Communions were seventy-five. The deaths 
at the three places were ten; two children and eight adults. Number of mar- 
riages, five. 

January nth 1839. Mr. Wm. Watson, son-in-law of Mrs. Esther Thorn, 
above mentioned, became very ill, desired to be received into the Church. Rev. 
Father Brands, after instructing him, heard his confession and baptized him 
sub conditione. He recovered, and remains a fervent and exemplary Catholic 
yet. (August 24, 1861). 


February 3rd 1839. Rev. Brands was called to the farm of Mrs. Smith, 
where he instructed and baptized several persons of color, some children and 
adults. Ov^ing to the opposition of the parents, and not to cause trouble to the 
children, some were baptized privately and remained Catholics until of age to 
act for themselves. Of these many persevered. 

New Church finished at Cape Girardeau. July 21 st 1839. Bishop Rosati 
of St. Louis consecrated the new church, a neat stone building with cut stone 
front and a neat steeple. There were as yet no pews and only a few benches. 
There were more than five hundred persons assembled from every direction 
and of all denominations. Whilst the ceremonies were performed with closed 
doors, the very Rev. John Timon addressed the large assemblage in the open 
air on the meaning of the ceremonies of the consecration and dedication of the 
church, then proceeding in the interior of the church. He also preached an 
appropriate sermon during the Mass in his own happy and eloquent manner. A 
handsome collection was then taken up, which would have been much greater, 
had it been previously made known. 3i Solemn Vespers were sung in the even- 
ing and the Benediction given with the Bl. Sacrament. Here again the very 
Rev. Timon preached. His discourse was on a moral subject and very moving; 
all were deeply impressed with the necessity of leading a holy and moral life. 
On this day Rev. Timon baptized a child of Mr. J. Morrison and a son of 
Nicholas Doyle. Mr. John Hutcheson's son was also baptized. 

July 22nd, the Rt. Rev. Bishop gave Confirmation to six persons,^^ three of 
whom were converts. Mr. Wm. Watson, on this same day, made his first Com- 
munion and was confirmed. On this same day Mrs. C. Massey, a daughter of 
Mrs. E. Thorn, being moved by the conversion of her mother and by the ser- 
mons of the preceding day, applied to be baptized, but as she was not sufficiently 

31 Here again we may supplement this short account by the lengthy entry of Bishop 
Rosati in his Diary, The Bishop, who had celebrated the feast of St. Vincent de Paul at 
the Barrens, and started, with Father Paquin at three o'clock that afternoon, arrived at the 
Cape about noon of the 20th. Here is now his narrative of the events of that memorable 
day: "In the morning at half past five, I came with all the clergy to the chapel where, 
on the day before, had been brought and enclosed in a nicely adorned Reliquary, the relics 
of St. Paul and St. James the Lesser, Apostles, St. Vincent de Paul, Confessor, and St. 
Catherine, Virgin and Martyr, which were to be placed in the altar to be consecrated; and 
whilst the clergy recited the seven penitential Psalms, I put on the pontifical vestments, and, 
accompanied by the Very Rev. John Timon, Vicar General of the Diocese and Visitor of 
the Congregation of the Mission, Assistant Priest; Rev. Bartholomew Rolando, C. M., 
Deacon; Rev. Michael Calvo, C. M., Subdeacon; the Revs. J. B. Tornatore, Joseph Paquin, 
Francis James Burlando and Jerome Cercos, C. M., master of ceremonies, and Rev. James 
Fontbonne, we went in procession to the doors of the Church, erected to Almighty God 
by the priests of the Congregation of the Mission of the American Province. This church 
is entirely built of stone; it was completed within the space of fourteen months, the corner 
stone being laid by myself on the 30th of April last year. All the rites prescribed by the 
Roman Pontifical outside and inside the church being performed, I dedicated and consecrated 
it, together with the main altar in which I reverently enclosed the afore-mentioned Relics. 
Said Relics were carried by Rev. Hippolytus Gandolfo and Rev. Michael Demenech, priests 
of the Congregation of the Mission, Mr. Thomas Burke, Deacon C. M. and Mr. John Cotter 
Subdeacon, C. M., all in dalmatics. Various offices were performed also by Rev. John 
Brands, C. M., Rector of the Parish, Rev. Peter Doutreluingne, C. M., Rev. Eud. Estany, 
C. M., Messr.s. Michael Collins, Deacon C. M., Nicholas Stehle, Subdeacon C. M.. and John 
Broyderick, Cleric C. M. The Consecration finished, I blessed also the Sacred linen and the 
ornaments of the altar. Whilst I was performing the sacred rites, inside the church and 
with the doors closed, the Very Rev. John Timon addressed the large assemblage of people 
who had come to the ceremony from town, and from the neighborhood on both sides of 
the river, many of whom were non-Catholics; he explained these rites, brought forth their 
mystical meaning, and vindicated them from protestant calumnies. Finally, putting on the 
Pontifical vestments for Mass, I celebrated solemnly, the Revs. P. Doutreluingne and E. 
Estany assisting as Deacons of honor." 

32 The Bishop, in his Diary, says seven persons. 


instructed, this was postponed. She prepared and after full instructions she was 
baptized some weeks later. 

Sept. 8th, Rev. Brands visited a poor family living in one of the houses 
belonging to the Congregation. They were living in great misery. Some pious 
ladies visited this poor family and gave them food and clothing. The next day 
the mother, who had been well instructed whilst at the Convent in Kentucky, 
was baptized with her two children. The mother and infant died a few days 

September 15th 1839. Rev. J. Brands, by permission of the very Rev. J. 
Timon, blessed the chapel of St. Francis of Sales, and the grave-yard attached 
to it, in Tiwopity Bottom, Scott County, Missouri, about two hundred persons 
present. They were all pleased with the two sermons preached by the Rev. J. 
Brands on the occasion. Every time Mass is said at- that place, the number of 
persons present is large, and all are respectful and very attentive. 

Rev. Mr. Brands baptized Mary J. Rourke, a boarder at the Convent; this 
was at the request of her father who was an Irishman, living at Ft. Adams, Miss. 
Mr. Wm. Byrne, son of Moses Byrne, residing across the Big Swamp, was very 
ill, and though a man grown, had not been baptized. Rev. Healy, in the absence 
of Rev. Brands, went and baptized Mr. Byrne. 

November loth 1839. Rev. Brands, having previously instructed the two 
elder daughters of Silas Cook and his niece, baptized them, and also the daugh- 
ter of Dr. Thos. Byrne. — December 4th 1839, Rev. Mr. Brands, having heard 
that old Mrs. Gibony was very ill, went to visit her, and in the course of con- 
versation found that she had been a very strict Methodist, but she was not satis- 
fied in mind. Rev. Brands instructed her. He soon found that she had been 
reading our books and was a Catholic at heart. She expressed a desire to be 
baptized a Catholic. The following day, Mr. Brands baptized her sub conditione, 
heard her confession, and gave her Holy Communion and Extreme Unction. 
She lived only a few days, and was very patient and edified all by her holy 
death. She departed this life in the eightieth year of her age. — December 12th 
Mr. Brands baptized two children of Andrew Gibony at the request of their 

Since the consecration of our church and now that we have services regu- 
larly, and that the service is performed in every way conformable to the rites 
of the Church, prejudices are greatly removed. Many express a desire to be- 
come Catholics, and conversions are very numerous, and our schools, notwith- 
standing the constant opposition, are gaining in public estimation, and the num- 
ber of scholars is daily increasing. 

1840. The number of communicants this year at Cape Giral deau is sixty- 
nine, of non-communicants eighty-two ; communicants at Jackson sixteen, non- 
communicants thirty-three ; at Tiwopity Bottom twenty-five communicants. The 
number of first Communions at the three places is nineteen. Number of Easter 
Communions at Cape Girardeau seventy-six, at Jackson eleven, at Tiwopity 
Bottom thirty-seven; total one hundred and twenty- four. Wonderful increase 
in a few years ! 

Mr. John Atwell, wife and child, all converts, are baptized by Father Brands 
at their own request. This good family had been long convinced of the truth 
of the Catholic Religion, but the edifying death of a relation obtained for 


them the grace to overcome all human respect, the great cause of many not act- 
ing up to their convictions. Many others were encouraged by this good example. 

P^eb. 14th. Elizabeth Johnson, a daughter of J. Curry Watson, had, not- 
withstanding her conviction of the truth, always deferred being baptized; but 
falling dangerously sick, she sent for the priest and was baptized with her child. 
A lady present wished to be baptized, but not being instructed she was put off 
until the 8th of March. She was then baptized together with a son of Chas. 
Thorn of Illinois. Mr. C. Thorn is a son of Mrs. Esther Bradly, mentioned be- 
fore. He is also desirous to be baptized; also his sister, Mrs. Thompson. 

March Sth^s 1840. The Rt. Rev. Bishop Rosati arrived here accompanied 
by Rev. J. Odin, on their way to New Madrid, and as the Bishop was to start 
shortly for Europe, Rev. Brands requested him to give confirmation at the Cape 
on their return trip from New Madrid. The 5th of ApriP* was appointed for this 
day. Rev. Brands prepared all those whom he could collect together. On the 
appointed morning, eleven persons were present, six of whom were to make 
their first Communion. But the Bishop being detained on his way, they were 
disappointed, for that day all heard Mass and went to Communion and kept 
themselves in readiness for the arrival of the Bishop. The good Bishop arrived 
during the night.^^ Word was sent immediately to all and they came early the 
next day to the church. The Bishop, although much exhausted with fatigue, 
said Mass, confirmed all and gave them a very touching discourse. Among the 
eleven confirmed were six converts. 

April 19th 1840 being Easter Sunday, we had twenty-two Communions at 
early Mass, the greatest number ever had at one time in this place. Among 
these were three converts who were not prepared to make their first Communion 
on the first of April. — April 3rd Rev. Brands was called for by a sick woman 
in the Big Bend, who had never seen a Catholic priest and was totally ignorant 
of the Catholic Religion. He instructed her and baptized herself and child. 

May 24th, Mrs. Matty, who could not be notified in time of the Bishop's, 
arrival, made her first Communion with one other at the Convent. — June 14th, 
Mrs. Hancock, who was baptized on the eighth of March, but was till now 
deterred from complying with the duties of her religion, by the persuasions of 
the enemies of our religion, and given up by the Catholics as a lost sheep, she 
overcame all these temptations and approached the Holy Table for the first 
time, and was ever after a fervent and zealous Catholic. 

July 8th. His Grace, Charles Augustus Mary Joseph de Forbin Janson. 
Bishop of Nancy and Toul in France, who, for political reasons, being a relative 
of Charles X, has been exiled by Louis Philippe of Orleans from his diocese, 
and is now making a tour of the United States as a Missionary, arrived here 
at midnight accompanied by Rev. J. Timon. His main object was to see this 
place and to start from this place for St, Loliis by the first steamer, as he was 
to give Confirmation on the following Sunday at Carondelet, Mo. But as some 

33 This is certainly a mistake. The Bishop's Diary, recording day by day the life of 
the prelate, is, of course, absolutely reliable in every detail. On March S, Bishop Rosati 
was in St. Louis, which he left the 21st for Kaskaskia, thence for the Seminary where he 
arrived on Monday March 23, in the afternoon. He left the Barrens on the 26th, and the 
same evening reached the Cape. 

34 This is scarcely exact, as may be concluded from the following note. If the con- 
firmation took place one day later than the date appointed, the arrangements must have been 
made for April 1st. 

35 He arrived on April 2, at 3 a. m. on the steamship Joel Pitt; the confirmation took 
place at 7 o'clock; and at 3 p. m., the Bishop departed on the Bowling Green for St. Louis. 


persons had been disappointed by the sudden arrival of Bishop Rosati and were 
not ready then for confirmation, Bishop Janson consented to remain and to give 
confirmation at this place after a few hours' rest. He celebrated Mass for those 
to be confirmed, and gave them a very touching instruction in French, which 
Rev. Brands interpreted in English. The good Bishop gave Benediction of the 
Bl. Sacrament in the evening. — July 17th. Those who had been confirmed 
went to Holy Communion. They were eight in all and all converts. Eliz. J. 
Johnson and H. Pikley made their First Communion. The good Bishop paid 
several visits, and edified by his amiable and zealous manner all those with whom 
he conversed. His description of the Holy Land and the holy places at and 
around Jerusalem, which he had lately visited, made a very great impression on 
all, hearing these things from an eye-witness of all he related. Rt. Rev. Janson 
started the next day for St. Louis. 

August 28th. Mrs. Jane Glascock, the wife of Scarlet Glascock, after full 
instruction was baptized sub cond'itionc, made her first Communion. Our holy 
Religion made great progress and the zealous Rev. Brands was very much 
esteemed in this place. During the minth of May, 1841, Rev. Mr. Brands was 
sent to Ste. Genevieve, where obedience called him. The cause of this change 
was to make place for the novitiate of the Lazarists in this country.^^ 

April 20th 1841. It would seem that our Lord has in His goodness great 
designs for Cape Girardeau. All is arranged to remove the novitiate from the 
Barrens to the Cape. On the 20th of May, 1841, early in the morning, all was 
prepared after an early Mass and breakfast. The baggage-waggons were started, 
and Rev. Paquin, Superior of the Seminary at the Barrens, Rev. T. Amat as 
Master of Novices, with Rev. J. F. McGerry and Rev. John Larkin as novices 
and three lay-brother novices set out on horse-bade. All arrived safe at the 
Cape the same day. We found Rev. Timon on the spot ready to receive us 
with Rev. Brands and Collins. All was soon arranged and a chapel prepared 
in the old house near the church. 

In a few days after our arrival here, we were joined by Rev. Mr. Andrieu 
and Mr. Patrick Morrison, novices from the Seminary of La Fourche, Parish of 
Assumption, La. There were now two priests, two students and three brothers 
in the novitiate. At this same date last year, Mr. McGerry was alone in the 
novitiate. Since this date, the number has always been on the increase. All the 
exercises of the novitiate were most exactly followed. Rev. H. Figari was 
Superior of the house. From this time the ceremonies of the church were per- 
formed with greater solemnity and the service was well attended. In the year 
1842 the same house was destined to be a preparatory Seminary for those who 
had a desire to embrace the ecclesiastical state. Rev. Mr. Domenech was made 
Superior of this institution, and Rev. J. Rolando Master of Novices. The day 
school and the preparatory Seminary were prospering. During this year it was 
decided to build a College for seculars of Cape Girardeau and then remove the 
novitiate and litttle Seminary to the Barrens. The bricks were prepared during 
this and timber for the new College. 

,^6 "From Cape Girardeau the Missionary stationed there had gone several times on 
a Mission to Cairo; a post had been fixed there, with vestments, etc. In the summer of 
1840, throucrh the influence of the Visitor with Hon. E. K. Kane and C. P. Menard, Mr. 
Halbrock, the agent, gave a lot there for a Catholic church, and commenced building a 
neat frame one, at his own expense" (Timon's Diary). 


In the spring of 1843 as early as the frost would permit, the stone founda- 
tion was commenced. The basement story, eight and a half in the clear, and 
the walls four feet solid masonry with cut marble front one hundred feet long 
by fifty wide, three stories above the basement. This building was carried on 
without any interruption, was roofed in November 1843 and in May 1844 the 
College was nearly finished; but as Rev. H. Figari had told in March, when he 
was in Louisiana, that the College would remove to the Cape in May, the groc- 
eries for the year were landed at the Cape ; consequently it was resolved by 
Rev. H. Figari to set out for the Cape and take possession of the new College. 
The refectory was not floored or plastered, no doors made, no benches or desks 
prepared, not a bed or a bedstead in the house. The order to pack was given, 
a large number of wagons engaged: beds, books, clothes, etc., were soon in 
boxes, and on Monday morning, at three o'clock, the line of march commenced. 
Rev. H. Figari started at the head, the collegians, to the number of seventy-five, 
in wagons, followed. Then the professors and the prefect. Rev. McGerry, on 
horseback, brought up the rear. All started in great glee, the band playing lively 
airs as we passed through Perryville. During the morning all went on very 
cheerfully. At twelve-thirty, all halted at a creek half way, where we had an 
abundant dinner of cold ham and cold roast beef. All did justice to the dinner. 
Rev. H. Figari and a good number set off early, leaving the prefect to see to 
the provisions and to bring up the rear. Some began to lag behind and lost their 
wagons. This caused the last wagon to be crowded and overloaded; conse- 
quently our march was retarded, and when about two miles from the Cape, we 
were caught by a severe thunder-storm. The rain fell in torrents and we were 
all drenched to the skin. It became so dark that the drivers could no longer 
see the road. They were forced to take the horses from the wagons, and the 
Collegians had to proceed on foot about a mile, when we came to a poor log- 
house where we took shelter. But as our provisions were still behind, we had 
to content ourselves by making a large fire in the cabin and dry ourselves by 
the fire. All were cheerful and made the best of our position for the night. As 
soon as they were dried, all, from fatigue, were soon sound asleep on the floor. 
The horses were better off, for they had a good barn to protect them from 
the storm. 

Early next morning we were moving by time and all in good spirit. Some 
thirty-five of us set off for the Cape, where they arrived dirty and fatigued for 
breakfast, which was provided for them by Rev. H. Figari at the house of the 
Novitiate 'near the church. During the day, mattresses were arranged on the 
floor in the spacious dormitories of the new College. The iron bedsteads from 
Pittsburgh did not arrive for more than a week; the priests' rooms were not 
furnished. They had to sleep for some eights on pallets on the floor. The 
doors were not as yet made for the rooms, but after some weeks all was in 
order. The classes commenced on the Friday after our arrival. Desks were 
made rapidly and chairs procured for each student. 

The number of scholars increased every day. All was going on prosperously. 
This was a season of continual rain. The river began to rise rapidly in June, 
and continued rising until the first of July. Such an overflow of the Mississippi 
had never been seen. It passed the banks and overflowed all the low lands. 
The water was from eight to ten feet in the Big Swamp. In front of the College 
the river was eight miles wide and the body of water in the swamp was from 


three to six miles wide and eight to ten feet deep. The College being on high 
ground had nothing to fear. 

Our College farm in the swamps was all under water for more than three 
weeks. All the fine crop of corn and potatoes lost; the fences swept away; 
many hogs lost and some horn cattle. When the water subsided, it was too late 
to save anything. For this season all that could be done was to repair the 
fencing around some fields and sow wheat and grass for the next year. This 
was done. 

Now comes the want, the consequences of the overflow. The bad effluvia 
from the deposit left by the overflow caused great sickness. There were at one 
time after the vacation in September more than forty persons sick with chills 
and fever or bilious fever. For some weeks there were not five persons in the 
house well enough to nurse the sick. The prefect, Rev. McGerry, and Brother 
Baigese were the only persons not sidk. Good Mr. Figari had the chills every 
day and as soon as the fever abated was busy assisting to comfort the sick. Two 
physicians were in constant attendance. Happily we had no deaths. As the cold 
weather set in the sickness abated, but this had for some time a bad effect ab- 
road. However, in time it was found that the Cape was more healthy than 
many other places in the Valley of the Mississippi, and far more healthy im- 
mediately on the bank of the river than at some distance from it. The students 
were pleased with the location, and the boys from the South were willing to 
come to the Cape : as the country around was not much settled, this left plenty 
of game which afforded them much amusement on days of recreation. 

The remainder of the Diary is from now on concerned with the 
life in the College of Cape Girardeau during the next few years. The 
pages which we have cited, simple and unadorned, constitute a record 
which the Catholics of Cape Girardeau may well be proud of, as it 
shows how, in the space of fifteen years, a fervent little flock grew 
gradually out of nothing despite of the hostility of bigoted ignorance, 
and the apathy of widespread indifference. With these healthy signs 
of vigor exhibited from its very cradle, the later progress of the Church 
at "the Cape" cannot be an object of surprise, and there is reason to 
hope for ye't greater development. 



by the Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis 

Books and pamphlets on American History and Biography, 
particularly those relating to Church institutions, ecclesiastical 
persons and Catholic lay people within the limits of the Louisiana 
Purchase ; 

Old newspapers; Catholic modern papers; Parish papers, 
whether old or recent: 

We zvill highly appreciate the courtesy of the Reverend 
Pastors who send us regularly their Parish publications; 
Manuscripts ; narratives of early Catholic settlers or relating 
to early Catholic settlements ; letters : 

In the case of family papers which the actual owners 
wish to keep in their possession, we shall he grateful for 
the privilege of taking copies of these papers; 
Engravings, portraits, Medals, etc ; 

In a word, every object whatsoever which, by the most liberal 
construction, may be regarded as an aid to, or illustration of the 
history of the Catholic Church in the Middle West. 

Contributions will be credited to the donors and preserved 
in the Library or Archives of the Society, for the use and benefit 
of the members and other duly authorized persons. 

Communications may be addressed either to the Secretary, 
or to the Librarians of the 

Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis, 

209 Walnut Street, St. Louis, Mo. 




We recorded a year ago (Vol. II, p. 32) the foundation and or- 
ganization of the American Catholic Historical Association. Its first 
annual meeting was held in the New Willard Hotel, Washington, 
D.C., at Christmastide, December 27—30, 1920. At the same time, 
in the same city and in the same headquarters was taking place the 
annual convention of the American Historical Association; and this 
shoul be understood to be no mere accidental coincidence, but a per- 
manent measure. For some years The American Political Science 
Association, the American Sociological Society, The Mississippi Valley 
Association, the Agricultural Society have had the custom to hold 
their meetings at the same time and place as the American Historical 
Association. It was felt long ago indeed that by this means, and the 
intimate relations thus created and fostered, a mutual understanding 
and gain must be the result. 

From the inaugural session in Cleveland, in December 1919, the 
American Catholic Historical Association had not a moment's hesita- 
tion to follow a precedent which experience had shown to result in 
"mutual assistance, mutual encouragement, a healthier scholarship on 
both sides, and a more careful appraisal of the past." The fields in 
which co-operation cannot help bring advantage are several. It has 
been justly remarked that "Medieval history with the Catholic Church 
omitted would be almost 'Hamlet' with Hamlet left out." May this 
ndt be said as truly of our early American History? Such an authority 
as Prof. Herbert Bolton, of the University of CaHfornia is so firmly 
convinced of it that he has made himself, as it were, the tireless Apostle 
of this idea. On other fields historical, political, social, friendly rela- 
tions are bound to be as fruitful of beneficial results for all con- 

To foster this friendly interchange of ideas. Breakfast, Luncheon 
and Dinner sessions were provided for either separately, or jointly 
with other historical groups meeting at the same time. Thus, for 
instance on Tuesday, December 28, a Luncheon conference was held 
with the American Historical Association on the Opportunities of 
Historical Research in the City of Washington. The Luncheon was 
served in the Library of Congress and followed by a tour through the 
Library. Another Luncheon conference, the next day, afforded to the 
rnembers of the Catholic Association an opportunity for an exchange of 
views with 'the American Historical Association, on subjects pertain- 



ing to Economic History (English and American) ; December 30, re- 
united once more such members of both organizations as were inter- 
ested in the History of the Far East, or of Latin America. Let us not 
omit, besides, the Smoker at the Cosmos Club, and above all, the invi- 
tation extended to the members of the Catholic Historical Association 
to attend the General Session of the American Historical Association. 
An idea of the variety, importance and timeliness of the subjects 
discussed in the various sessions held by the Catholic Historical Asso- 
ciation during these three busy days, may be gathered from the papers 
assigned to be read at these sessions : 


1. Attitude of Science towards Religion from 1874 — 1920. 

Rev. Lucian Johnston, S.T.L., Baltimore, Md. 

2. The Catholic Social Movement in France under the Third Republic. 

Parker Thomas Moon, M. A., Columbia University, New York City. 

3. Benedict XV and the Historical Basis for Thomistic Study. 

Rev. Henry Ignatius Smith, O.P., Ph. D., The Catholic University 
of America, Washington, D. C. 

4. Opportunities in Historical Fiction. 

Michael Williams, National Catholic Welfare Council, Washing- 
ton, D. C. 

5. The Catholic Church in Georgia. 

Rev. T. A. Foley, Savannah, Ga. 


1. The Compilation and Preservation of Church Historical Data. 

Rev. F. Joseph Magri, D.D., Portsmouth, Va. 

2. Rise of the Papal States up to Charlemagne's Coronatioyi. 

Rev. Joseph M. Woods, S.J., Woodstock College, Woodstock, Md. 

3. The St. Vincent de Paul Society as an Agency of Reconstruction. 

Rev. Charles L. Souvay, C. M., D.D., Kenrick Seminary, Webster 
Groves, Mo. 

4. The Personality and Character of Gregory VH in recent Historical 

Rev. Thomas Oestreich, O.S.B., Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, 
North Carolina. 

5. The National Catholic War Council. 

Michael J. Slattery, LL. D., Philadelphia, Pa. 


1. Sisters and the Care of the Ailing Poor in the United States. 

James J. Walsh. M.D., LL. D., K.S.G.. New York City. 

2. Increase and Diffusion of Historical Knowledge. 

Rev. Francis J. Betten, S.J., St. Ignatius College, Cleveland. Ohio. 

3. Idealism in History. 

Conde Benoist Fallen, New York City. 

4. Religious Orders of Women in the United States. 

Sister Mary Agnes, Ph. D., Mt. St. Joseph Academy, Mt. St. Joseph, 

5. The Value of Mexican Archives for the Study of Missionary History. 

Herbert Bolton, Ph. D., University of California, Berkeley. Calif. 

Of the papers dealing with topics of general Church History, 
nothing need be said here, great as is their interest for Catholics at 
large. But papers such as that of Dr. Magri on "The Compilation and 


Preservation of Church Historical Data" are too closely related to our 
own ends and purposes to be passed over without a word of comment. 
The writer rightly insisted that the announcements on Sundays and 
holydays contain extremely valuable data for history, and that, there- 
fore, contrary to superficial views too often entertained, their preserva- 
tion is very important. The custom of having the announcements written 
on flying sheets which afterwards were destroyed or lost, has played 
sad havoc with the attempts of historical students to get at details 
of the histories of parishes. Those who are living to-day what to-mor- 
row shall be history seldom realize how interesting and valuable ap- 
parently unimportant details may prove to be, even a few generations 

Every pastor in 'the land should be made to feel he is not only a 
maker of history, but also, by his very position, a contributor to the 
work of future historians. There should be impressed upon him the 
necessity for making brief, but permanent, records of important events 
in his parish history ; in this regard he can never be too complete, and 
he should distrust his judgment as to the passing and trivial nature 
of 'the items registered. His announcement books should be books, 
solid and substantial enough to stand rough handling and make preser- 
vation easy — for, as urged by Dr. Magri, these books, when filled, must 
be preserved in the parochial Archives. The expression 'parochial 
Archives' may sound pompous only to such as are not conversant with 
Ecclesiastical law. It is no product from the mint of history-hobby- 
ists: The law of the Church is imperative and clear on this point: 

The Parish-rector must have (habeat) a place for Records, or 
Archives, in which are to be kept the parish books (of Baptisms, 
Confirmations, Marriages, Funerals ,and the Liber Status Anima- 
rum), and also the letters of the Bishop, and other documents which 
reasons of necessity or of usefulness demand should be preserved. 
These Archives are to be submitted to the inspection of the Ordinary 
or his delegate, at the time of the Visitation, or at any other oppor- 
tune time ; and the pastor has the duty to watch religiously that their 
contents are kept from externs (Canon 470, §4). 

At the end of every year the pastor shall transmit to the Epis- 
copal Curia an authentic transcript of the parish Registers, except 
the Liber Status Animarum. (Ibid. §3). 

The Bishop shall see to it that, of the Archives of Cathedral, 
Collegiate or parish churches, also of Confraternities and pious 
places, an inventory or catalogue is made in double expedition, one 
copy being ke :t in the respective Archives, and the other in the 
Episcopal Archives (Can. 383 §1). 

The original Documents must not be taken out of these Archives, 
except in compliance with the rules laid down in Can. 379,— that is 
with the permission of the Bishop or of the Vicar General (and, 
it may be safely asserted, of the Pastor, in the case of Parochial 
Archives— can 379 deals with Diocesan Archives — ), and the Docu- 
ments should be returned after three days; to the Bishop (or the 
Pastor, in case of Parochial Archives) is reserved the faculty of 
proroguing this delay, but he should use this faculty but sparingly. 
Whoever borrows any Document from the Archives, should leave 
with the Chancellor a note signed by himself, attesting the fact 
(Ibid. §2). 


Documents of parochial . . . Archives which need not be kept 
secret, may be consulted by anyone interested in them ; he may like- 
wise obtain an authentic copy of these documents, made at his own 
expense (Can. 384, §1). 

Diocesan Chancellors, Pastors, and other custodians of Archives 
must, in communicating documents, taking copies of the same, and 
giving these copies, observe the rules laid down by lawful ecclesias- 
tical authority; and in case of doubt, they should consult the Or- 
dinary of the place. 

A more complete, and wiser Code of rules for the formation and 
preservation of parish Archives could hardly be devised. Our readers 
will, no doubt, remember with what tireless zeal Bishop Rosati in- 
sisted, in every place where he made the episcopal visitation, upon 
the establishment, contents and proper care of these parochial Arch- 
ives. He counted on 'the information thus collected and garnered, and 
did not hesitate to request communication of whatever items were 
necessary to him for working out his reports. So we find him, in a 
circular of September 6, 1837, asking all the priests of the Diocese 
to send him for the first week of January 1838, together with their 
report of catholicity (population, Missions, numbers of infant-bap- 
tisms, adult baptisms, conversions, funerals, marriages, first com- 
munions, paschal communions), to state: 1° when the parish or 
mission had been founded or erected, when the church was consecrated 
or blessed; the list of the Pastors or priests attending the Mission, 
with the dates of beginning and close of the period of their incumbency. 
A little later, on January 26, 1839, in the Circular announcing the 
future Synod to be held in St. Louis on the third Sunday after Easter, 
a lengthy and detailed questionnaire was sent to every Pastor ; among 
the queries contained in this letter, we may single out the following, 
whose answer supposed the parish Archives to be complete and kept 
in good order : 

6. Does the Church possess and real estate or any other im- 
movable goods? What are they? What is their extent? With whom 
is vested the title of ownership of the Church, the Rectory, the 
Cemetery, and other places? 

Are there any written deeds of the purchase or donation of 
these properties? — The Pastors are requested to bring these docu- 
ments when they come to the Synod. 

What the new Code of Canon Law indicates generally by the ex- 
pression, aliisquc dociimentis, necessitatis- vel utilitatis causa servandis, 
as contributing, together with the regular parish registers and the 
Episcopal letters, to make up the parish Archives, is, from the above, 
not hard to determine. Let tts mention a few items, without aiming 
at exhaustiveness : 

Maps of the Parish ; 

Charts and plats of the Church property ; 

Documents and deeds regarding the rights and goods of the 
Church ; even though Canon 1523, 6° recommends the practice of filing 


the originals of these papers in the Diocesan Chancery, a certified 
copy of them should be preserved in the respective Archives. Copies 
of the decisions of the Court, in case of lawsuit regarding church prop- 
erty, naturally come under this heading. Official Acts regarding the 
Church and other parochial buildings (laying of corner stone, blessing 
or consecration; Canon 1158); contracts (for buildings, etc.; with 
teaching communities, etc.) ; 

Documents concerning foundations (Can. 1548) ; 

Letters of appointment of the Pastors and assistants ; 

Matrimonial dispensations ; 

Letters nc tifying the Pastor of the Parishioners' confirmahon, 
Marriage, S'lbdeaconship, religious profession (Can. 470 §2) ; 

Accounts of notable events happening in the patish (these might 
conveniently be entered in a kind of Parish Diary) and paper-clippings 
referring to the same; 

Announcement Books. 

Parish Periodical. 

Need we add that these Parish Archives should be stored in a 
place as immune from the eventuality of mishap as the locality may 
oflfer? A steel safe in a room of a frame house is no adequate pro- 
tection against one of the greatest agencies of destruction — fire. Why 
not, in brick or stone churches, provide near the sacristy a little room 
or vault for the purpose? This has been done lately in some new or 
re-modelled churches, and the practice ought to be recommended to 
pastors and church architects. What a wealth of historical material 
could be thus garnered in every parish, at the cost of very small 
trouble ! Nor will this stock of information remain idle ; occasions will 
arise quite naturally from time to time : a jubilee, an memorial festiv- 
ity, which will bring to light out of this storehouse part of the treasures 
it contains, to the great interest and delight of the listeners, for parish- 
ioners are always and everywhere keenly concerned about the lore 
of their parish. 

By all means let us gather and preserve religiously every bit of 
ore likely to yield some day were it only but a speck of the precious 
metal of history. Time's hand shows itself rough enough ; we must 
not continue, or help 'the havoc and destruction it has wrought ; we 
should snatch from its clutches whatever has so far escaped its 
ravages. For this purpose, in part, was, at the instance and under the 
patronage of the Most Rev. Archbishop, our Catholic Historical So- 
ciety of St. Louis, instituted. Its object, as stated in Art. Ill, of its 
Constitution, is "to collect and preserve materials of all kinds.... 
relating to the Catholic history of the Diocese of St. Louis and of 
whatever territories and places were at any time associated with St. 
Louis in ihe same Ecclesiastical division." Perhaps the verb, 'to pre- 
serve' , in the above sentence has not been sufficiently noted. May we 
not, therefore, respectfully call the attention of those whom it may 
concern to this portion of our program? If the parish registers and 
other documents which they must keep, absorb all the space available 
for parish-archives, or if the inadequate protection afforded to their 


local treasures makes them afraid of destruction and loss, let not that 
fear stop them from garnering solicitously; but let them remember 
we shall gladly preserve for them their historical treasures, as long 
as they will desire or deem useful. 

We seem to have drifted afield from the meeting of the CathoHc 
Historical Association in Washington : in reality we were but musing 
upon Dr. Magri's paper. Professor Herbert Bolton, of the University 
of California, needs no introduction to our readers, nor indeed to any- 
body in this country who is acquainted, however so slightly, with the 
history of Mexico and the Spanish settlements in the southwest section 
of the United States. His original researches have caused a practical 
re-wrilting of many pages of that history, and he has gathreed a store 
of materials which will renew and increase our knowledge of the early 
times of those regions. Though himself a non-Catholic, he is never 
tired of crying from the housetops that the history of North America 
for two or three centuries after the discoveries of Columbus is the 
history of the Catholic missions, and that practically three-fourths 
of the cities of this country have arisen lipon foundations laid by the 
missionaries who bore the torch of civilization at the same time as they 
carried the cross of Christ into the wilderness of this western hem- 
isphere. Let us hope that the painstaking and persevering efforts of 
such an enthusiastic and accomplished scholar will at last stir the 
unconcern of the authors of popular text books into filling the page 
too often left blank, or bringing sinews and flesh and stretching 
out skin over the dry bones which are doing duty for the history 
of these centuries. Meantime we, of St. Louis, from whose midst 
went forth, some eighty years ago, missionaries to resume the 
opera interrupta, will await eagerly the appearance of Dr. Bolton's 
forthcoming work dealing with the labors of the pioneer missionaries 
in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Would that the tire- 
less Professor had among us imitators girding Itheir loins for the task 
of unraveling for us the Catholic history of Louisiana in French and 
Spanish times. Though much nearer to us in point of time and space 
than the Padres who evangelized and civilized the southwest, are the 
early missionaries of Louisiana known as they should be? What do 
we know, for insitance, of Father Valentin, the first resident pastor 
of St. Louis; of Father Hilary; of Father Guignes? May we not 
without irreverence apply to Catholic History the words of our Savior 
in reference to His and his Apostles' work of salvation : "The harvest 
is great, but the laborers are few"? 

Too few, by far, indeed, especially when we ponder and meditate 
Dr. Lawrence F. Flick's statement that History's development in an 
age and in a people really is a fair criterion of the civilization of 
that age and people." "History as a Science" was the title of the 
Address delivered by the retiring President at the final Session of 
the Association. It was as inspiring as scholarly, and we are glad it 
has come out in pamphlet form, as it is deserving to be widely known. 
Leaving aside the considerations of the speaker on the nature of his- 
tory, and its scientific character and treatment, we may be permitted to 


quote here a few lines more directly germane to our purpose in these 
pages and the work and aims of our own Historical Society. 

Intrinsically, history ranks with mathematics, medicine, and law 
in the fellowship of the sciences; but in development as a servant 
of mankind it has not kept pace with them. An explanation of this 
may be found in man's selfish nature and intellectual limitations. 
The value of history in the pursuit of happiness is equal to that of 
any of the other three, but the manner in which one can get that 
value is different. It comes to one as part of the whole mass of 
people in better government, better churchmanship, better society, 
and not as an individual, in more comfort, more pleasure, and more 
opportunity for self-advancement. Moreover the science of history 
does not lead to individual emolument, nor does its pursuit give a 
profitable avocation. It cannot even be followed successfully by an 
individual without the help of others. In its nature it is the work 
of many. One may put the grain in the bin, but many must garner 
the sheaves, thresh it from the straw and winnow out the chafif. 
It requires talent, patience, devotion, and a spirit of self-sacrifice, in 
the one who pursues it; enlightenment and understanding in those 
who encourage him. . . 

Since the masses are the beneficiaries of history, the masses 
should carry the burden of its making. There are few who can be 
historians; there are not many who even can be assistant historians; 
but every educated intelligent man and woman can be a helper; and 
even the humblest person can contribute his mite. For history in 
action organization is essential. Its field is in societies, colleges and 
universities. In societies congenial spirits meet, create an historical 
atmosphere, and help each other. Societies also attract those who 
cannot themselves produce history, nor even assist those who can 
produce it, but are interested and willing to hold up the hands of 
those who can. . . 

Here is an excellent plea for the existence of organizations such 
as ours. We cannot but endorse heartily, therefore, and make our own, 
the following words of Dr. Flick, which we make bold to use as an 
appeal (to the zeal of our co-members of the Catholic Historical Society 
of St. Louis for securing a larger membership : 

How shall the functions of our organization be performed? 
It takes money and men, women too, for such a programme. All 
of these are avaiilable, but they must be sought for in our large 
prosperous Catholic population. The first step is to get up a member- 
ship large and strong enough to give an adequate income for the 
work... Clergymen and ... laymen have joined our ranks; and 
many... of them would join if they understood the objects of the 
Society and were confronted with a programme which would appeal 
to them as worthy of their cooperation. 

Do we, of the Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis, lack such 
a programme? Article III of Ihe Society's Constitution, partly cited 
above, and that part of Article IV, which provides that the Society 
shall "take measures to procure original papers on subjects germane 
to its purpose; and, as often as convenient, publish or cause to be 


published its transactions, papers, or works of historical value that 
may come under its control," are transparent enough. In just five 
years from now, St. Louis will hail the one hundredth anniversary 
of its erection into an independent Diocese. Is it not fitting that 
the date should be celebrated by something less fleeting than festivities, 
the memory of which scarcely outlasts the fragrance of the incense 
burned on this occasion? We want — would that be presuming too 
much? — that kind of memorial, which the poet declared aere perennius, 
for the work of the pen outlives all other human works: we want a 
History of Catholicity here in our midst, worthy of our Church and 
its founders, and its great past. "It takes money and men, and women 
too, for such a programme." Money, and men, and women, — all this 
is synonymous with greater membership. Money will permit to push 
actively the obscure work of quarrying the necessary materials, sifting 
them, dressing the stones as it were of the palace beautiful con- 
templated. To erect this palace, there must be the master mind of the 
architect coupled with the expert hand of the craftsman. ''Who shall 
find a valiant man?" Money cannot create him ; would that it could 
contribute to the thorough historical training of some young, energetic 
lover of our past, so as to render him capable of measuring himself 
with the task ! , , . 

The American Catholic Historical Association will follow the Am- 
erican Historical Association to St. Louis next winter. We shall, there- 
fore, be given the opportunity to judge its work and progress at closer 
range, and the Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis will heartily 
exitend to it the glad hand of welcome, and contribute to make its meet- 
ing pleasant and successful. We subjoin here the list of the officers 
elected at Washington for the year 1921 : James J. Walsh, M. D., 
Ph. D., K. S. G., President; Rev. John J. Wynne, S. J., First Vice- 
President; Very Rev. M. S. Ryan, CM., D. D., Ph. D., Second Vice- 
President; Right Rev. Msgr. T. C. O'Reilly, D.D., V.G., Treasurer; 
Rev. Peter Guilday, Ph. D., Secretary; Miss Frances Brauner, Arch- 
ivist. The Executive Council includes the above mentioned officers, and, 
besides, Lawrence F. Flick, M. D., LL. D.'; Carlton J. Hayes, Ph. D. ; 
Rev. Charles L. Souvay, CM., DD. ; Very Rev. F. L. Gassier ; David 
J. Champion, Esq. 

From the pen of Very Rev. Victor F. O'Daniel, O.P., S. T. M., 
came forth a few months back, in a goodly volume of 473 pages, the 
Life of The Right Rev. Edzvard Dominic Fenzvick, O.P., Founder of 
the Dominicans in the U^iited States, Pioneer Missionary in Kentucky, 
Apostle of Ohio, First Bishop of Cincinnati. An earnest of the work 
had previously been given to the public in the form of three articles 
printed in the Catholic Historical Reznezv (V, p. 156 ff; p. 428 fif. ; and 
VI, 13 ff. respectively), so that the appearance of the volume was 
eagerly awaited. Father O'Daniel, indeed, had. years before the pub- 
lication of these articles, won a flattering reputation as a scholar and 
a writer ; his name alone is high recommendation ; we are not sur- 
prised, therefore, that the Most Rev. Archbishop of Cincinnati casting 


about for a historian of that See, had no hesitation as to the choice of 
the person. 

The first Bishop of Cincinnati was the Founder of the Domini- 
cans in the United States: his Life, written by one of his spiritual 
sons, must naturally be a tribute of gratitude and love. Grati- 
tude and love, and admiration, however, do not mean necessarily a 
warping of the writer's judgement; and if we must distrust the ap- 
preciations of an enemy, because they are tainted by his prejudices, 
which lead the most guarded to put unfair constructions upon acts 
and motives, yet the reverse is often untrue : indeed the appreciations 
of an historian in close sympathy with his subject are all the truer, 
because a friend, knowing better the secret motives of action, can 
judge more justly. Being a grateful admirer of Bishop Edw. D. Fen- 
wick, therefore, qualified especially Father V. O'Daniel for his labor 
of love. Because it was to him a labor of love, he has spared no efforts 
in order that the picture drawn by his pen might prove in every point 
true to Hfe. Well might he make his own the words of the inspired 
writer: "As to ourselves, indeed, in undertaking this work, we have 
taken in hand no easy task, yea rather a business full of watching and 
sweat" (ii Mach. ii, 2y~). The Bibliography printed at the end of the 
volume, imposing at it looks, especially the list of manuscript sources 
consulted, may not impress perhaps the general reader; but to the 
critical reader, particularly if he chances to be acquainted with some 
of these sources, the perusal of the Life of the Right Rev. Edw. D. 
Fenwick is a dehght. Under every paragraph — we were about to say, 
every sentence, — he can detect the solid foundation of first hand docu- 
mentary information ; and he reads on the smoothly worked up nar- 
rative, being afforded all the while a constantly renewed enjoyment 
by the marshalling of the facts in powerful array, and the art with 
which the documents are weaved into the texture of the story. Still, 
as the volume is intended for the general cultured public, the author 
has refrained from loading the bottom of his pages with a stack of 
footnotes of no interest or use for his readers. The latter will thank 
him for not overpowering them by the formidable display of his un- 
doubted scholarship; whilst the historian, professional or otherwise, 
v/ill be flattered and pleased by this indirect invitation to recognize 
or divine for himself behind the screen of the text its rich and solid 

If we insist that in Father O'Daniel's work, maierlam superat 
opus, we do not mean for all that to belittle the outward merits of the 
volume: Neat appearance, clear type, careful print (we have noticed 
but two or three misprints in those four hundred and seventy pages), 
good paper; all these, which contribute to impress agreeably the 
reader, would not be worthy of mention, were it not that in the diffi- 
cult times during which the book went through the press, they repre- 
sent an achievement all the more remarkable that the price of the 
volume ($3.50 net) would almost make us forget the H. C .L. 

Father O'Daniel would accuse us of praising his book without 
having read it, were we to stop after these remarks. There are in it 


a few — very few — blemishes; there are also some points on which, 
right or wrong, our judgment is at variance with his. 

The name of the Vicar Apostolic of London is given as Poyntner. 
Now this may be right, and we confess to never seeing any authentic 
signature of the English prelate. We have doubts, though, and still 
think the name was Poynter. So did always write our Bishop Du 
Bourg; so did write also our Bishop Rosati; so did read Carl R. Fish, 
in his Guide to the Materials for American History in Roman and 
other Italian Archives; so did likewise read the secretaries of Propa- 
ganda when they annotated and filed his letters (at least in Vol. IV, 
of the Scritture Referite). Somebody is certainly here at fault; but 
wherever the mistake is, it is very venial. Venial, too, is it to give the 
Christian name Peter to Father Barriere, the first companion of 
Father Badin in Ohio and Kentucky: we have seen his signature 
hundreds of times, and it is always Migl Berndo Barriere. 

But these are petty flaws. Another is found in a footnote of p. 276, 
where the author speaks of Archbishop Marechal's "well-known strong 
anti-Irish bias." As it stands, the statement is materially perfectly ac- 
curate ; however, it is apt, we fear, to be misconstrued by the unwary. 
Archbishop Marechal's anti-Irish bias was not. it seems, the outgrowth 
of racial prejudice — he apparently had no objection against priests of 
English extraction — but rather due to actual circumstances: Gal- 
lagher, Browne, Carbry and a few other ecclesiastical trouble-mongers 
of the time were from the Emerald Isle; other priests from Ireland 
behaved, as if, to use a homely phrase, "they owned the Church in 
America" ; then again, the Archives of Propaganda afford abundant 
evidence of the tendency of the Irish clergy (in Ireland and Lisbon) 
to meddle with American ecclesiastical affairs, — a tendency which bad- 
ly jostled the nerves not only of the Archbishop of Baltimore, but of 
other prelates as well. 

A vexing question was almost regularly bound to arise, in these 
pioneer times, whenever the head of a Religious Order or Community 
was raised to the Episcopate : it came here between our Bishop Rosati 
and the priests of his Congregation, as it had come between Bishop 
E. D. Fenwick and the Dominicans. That, in these and similar cases, all 
parties were equally honest and working for an agreeable adjustment, 
is the unquestionable verdict dictated by the evidence brought forth : 
to state this is not to judge them charitably, but merely to be just. 
Now does not the historian of Bishop Fenwick strain somewhat the 
point when he describes the prelate, "pious, meek and just though 
he certainly was, rather too much inclined to get possession of the 
little property owned by his brethren" (p. 261, note)? The excuse 
adduced, namely, that "no doubt he was led to this by his straits, 
and felt that he was justified by the fact that most of what they had 
came through him," is, in the writer's mind, an extenuating circum- 
stance, but no complete justification. We know that the adjustment 
of these temporal matters caused Bishop Fenwick painful anxieties of 
mind ; not wishing to rely on his own judgment he consulted Bishop 
Du Bourg, who enjoyed the reputation of being a good theologian and 


canonist. The answer of the latter is in the Catholic Archives of Am- 
erica (University of Notre Dame; Case: Archbishops and Bishops 
of New Orleans; the letter is dated April 22 — no year is given, but 
it is apparently i825) ; and the impression left upon us by this letter 
is that the Bishop of Cincinnati was rather inclined to scruple in his 
dealings with his Brethren of the Order over these temporal affairs. 

Be this as may, we must now turn to the "ungrateful chapter" 
wherein the writer, "much against his liking," has dwelt at some 
length on the "unpleasantness" between the Dominicans and the early 
missionaries of Kentucky. Fathers Nerinckx and Badin. The first draft 
of this chapter, as published in the Catholic Historical Review, pro- 
duced a painful impression of a number of readers who, how- 
ever, had never thought hitherto of taking sides in the controversy. 
Father O'Daniel who, in his laudable desire not to envenom the 
debate, had refrained from using to the full all the documents bear- 
ing on the case, does not seem to have heard the buzzing roused about 
his ears ; yet he has re- written in part and somewhat toned down this 
chapter and in this he has done well. We feel, however, he should 
have carried this work of revision and this toning down still farther. 

Let it be well understood : the reviewer is no advocate of the 
theory that history should pass over in silence, or relegate to an 
obscure background the unflattering side of the life or character of 
her heroes. To him Amicus Plato, Amicus Aristoteles, magis arnica 
Veritas. Unpleasantness there was: then let unpleasantness be told. 
Father O'Daniel repeatedly takes to task Nerinckx's first historian 
for his tampering with the texts ; we are with him in this : texts are 
texts, and should be respected. But in his love for truth, has he not 
forgotten a little the love for Plato and Aristotle ? A more sympathetic 
understanding of Plato and Aristotle, Nerinckx and Badin in this in- 
stance, would have rendered his hand more gentle and deft; whereas 
\ve are afraid he may actually have somewhat irritated the wound, in- 
stead of soothing the pain. Has he sufficiently considered that in- 
sisting as he does on certain details of the "unpleasantness," was like- 
ly, in spite of his expostulations, and contrary to his intention, to 
cause "shock or scandal"? There is, in the American Church, a re- 
spectable body, a large, zealous and efficient religious Community 
holding in the deepest reverence the memory of Father Nerinckx, 
their founder: was it necessary, was it opportune, was it considerate 
to shatter this natural and well-placed feeling of filial piety? Should 
the "vindication of good men who have been unjustly maligned" be 
obtained at the cost of throwing such "a shadow on the names of two 
ambassadors of Christ," as casts, all protests of the writer notwith- 
standing, "serious reflection on their character" ? 

The "unpleasantness" grew out of two causes: Nerinckx's sinister 
opinion of the English Dominicans at Bornheim and the Jansenistic 
rigorism of the two missionaries. That Nerinckx credited too easily 
and absolutely evil reports about the Fathers of Bornheim, and that 
the opinion formed too readily from these slanderous aspersions 
warped and poisoned his judgment concerning his new neighbors of 


St. Rose's, is but too true. Whether during his sojourn in Belgium 
(1816 — 1817) he was better informed, we cannot say; but certain it 
is that, later on, letters of his give unstinted praise to the labors and 
zeal of the Dominicans in Kentucky and Ohio. When, in 1820, Father 
Nerinckx was again in Europe, there was for some time question of 
his returning to America in company with Father Hill and the colony 
the latter expected to bring along. These are indications not to be 
overlooked. Granted that the Belgian priest had been, at an early 
period, led into error by idle gossip, and for some time was swayed 
in his judgment by prejudice, the above are clear hints that he was 
big-souled enough to change his views on finding out his credulity had 
been imposed upon. 

We will grant, too, that Father Nerinckx' system of morality 
leaned towards severity, and, on that account, he must have been 
shocked at what he deemed laxity in the theology of the Dominicans. 
The Kentucky pioneers, good as they were, did not measure up with 
the charges of the Jesuits in Paraguay or even with the fervent Cath- 
olics of Belgium; and he missed the mark by adopting a Procustean 
rule untempered by a wise appreciation of time, place, persons and 

Well does Maes bid us remember the indelible impression 
stamped upon Nerinckx' mind by the Revolution. While it has 
become the fashion to misname Jansenism the relative rigorism 
of the clergy of Continental Europe at the end of the XVIIIth 
century, as a matter of fact, Jansenistic doctrines had much less 
to do with the shaping of the current system of morality than the 
reaction against the baneful principles with which the French Ency- 
clopedists had saturated the minds. Every reaction is likely to go be- 
yond the extreme limits of the golden mean; this one did, and every 
clergyman educated in that atmosphere imbibed its spirit. An instance 
this we have in a paragraph of the famous letter sent by Bishop Flaget 
to the priests of Upper Louisiana, on February 8, 1816: "As the loca- 
tion of the See will mainly depend on the recommendation which we, 
Bishop Du Bourg and myself, will make, I am determined to oppose, 
with all my power, the selection of St. Louis, if it be true, what has 
been written to me, that a theatre was opened there." Shall we men- 
tion the sermon of the same prelate in September 1814, at Ste. Gene- 
vieve, Mo., against balls — "to the great astonishment of the dancers"? 
Fathers Nerinckx and Badin, just like Bishop Flaget, had read 
theology in those strong reaction times ; and in the case of the former, 
we may be pardoned to remind Bishop Fenwick's historian, that 
Dens — and Billuart — were then the oracles in the Belgian Seminaries. 
The English Dominicans, by their insular education, steered clear from 
the continental drift of the moral teaching of the times; but were the 
others so completely blamable? Were they responsible for the theo- 
logical training they had received? Are they, who were neither pro- 
fessional theologians, nor perfect, but simply good, earnest and zealous 
missionaries, to be censured because they were firm believers in the 


absolute soundness of the theology they had been taught, and applied 
that theology in all its unbending sternness? 

We know, there were circulating in this connection stories, some 
weird, some rather ludicrous of strange penances, extravagant ab- 
stinences, and the like. Such as are well authenticated evince the in- 
disputed authority which the missionaries claimed over their flocks, 
but do not strike overmuch by their oddity. But are all the stories 
which gained currency well authenticated? We venture to say that 
everything would have gone much better, and a great deal of the 
"unpleasantness" been spared, had less credit been given on either 
side to interested meddlers. Should implicit faith have been attached 
then, and be attached to-day, to malcontent parishioners and penitents 
who had an axe to grind ? Then again, we know that Father Nerinckx, 
in particular, could never speak English decently, and was often mis- 
understood. Did not mayhap some of the spiciest stories in circulation 
originate from misunderstandings? At any rate, a thorough cross- 
examination of the zvitnesses, was in order. Until it is done we feel 
justified in maintaining an attitude of skepticism. 

To sum up, we shall say that a little more psychological insight 
would have, we are convinced, rendered the author more sympathetic 
to the dramatis personae, and enabled him to pen that chapter yet 
more deftly ; the unpleasantness could not be blotted out, but none of 
those implicated in it should come out with a blotch on his escutcheon. 
This long review of Father O'Daniels work will convince him, 
and our readers as well, of the importance which we attach to the 
volume. Even the long space we have devoted to criticism is an evi- 
dence of our appreciation. Mediocrity we cannot couple with his 
name ; this may be our excuse for seeming to require of him nothing 
short of perfection. 

In the statistics gathered by Bishop Rosati a. 1837 P. Van Assche, 
S. J., writes about S. Ferdinand's, Florissant, Mo. : 

"Regarding the establishment of this mission or parish, it seems, 
no priest resided here before 1821. 

Before that time, its administration was taken by the following 
priests: On June 5, 1792 began (viz. to baptize) Rev. P. J. Didier, and 
ceased (to baptize) Sept. 9, 1789. 

Nov. II, 1789, began: Rev. F. Lusson, Recollect; and ceased Oct. 
15, 1804. 

16, May 1806 began and left ofif Rev. J. Maxwell. 

Dec. 2, 1806 began: Rev. Flynn; and ceased Dec. 21, 1807. 

June 13, 1808 began the same Rev. J. Maxwell, and ceased the 
following day. 

Dec. 28, 1808 began together: the Rev. Joseph Dunand, P. Bern. 
Langlais, and P. Urbain, Trappists ; they left : Rev. Bern. Langlais 
and P. Urbain Nov. 29, 1811. Rev. Joseph Dunand left April 5, 1820. 

On Oct. II, 1 82 1 began: Rev. Charles Lacroix and ceased June 
4, 1823. 


On June 4, 1823 began : Rev. P. Vanquickenbome, S. J. ; he left 
Nov. 8, 1829. 

Nov. 8, 1829, began: Rev. Jod. Van Asche, S. J., and ceased May 
18, 1835. 

May 18, 1835, began: Rev. Buschotts, S.J., and left Aug. 21, 1836. 

Aug. 21, 1836 again began : Rev. P. Van Asche. 

The Church of St. Ferdinand was consecrated Sept. 2, 1832." 

The same statistics contain the following notes on the parish of 
Old Mines, Mo., from the pen of Rev. Peter Doutreluingne : 

"As early as 1766 some families from the town of Ste. Genevieve 
settled in this place; in 1821 they built a small log church; the office 
of pastor (cure) was filled by the following priests: Rev. Pratte 
1817 — 1822; then F. X. Dahmen 1822 — 1828. In the same year (1828) 
Rev. J. Bouillier was appointed the first permanent and residing 
pastor. In 183 1 he began to construct a bricmk church, which was con- 
secrated the same year. The Rev. Bouillier had the administration of 
this parish to the year 1836, when he was recalled." 

P. Christian Hoecken, S. J., from St. Charles, Mo., writes to 
Bishop Rosati, Sept. 4, 1835: 

"I attend the following missions : 
I. near Marthasville. 

2. In New Boston, a German City (urbs!) the German com- 
menced to build it, 6 miles west of Marthasville.^ 

3. Hancock Prairie, 6 miles from Missouri. 

4. Near Columbia, near the river called Pursey. 

5. Boonville, (Old Frain:ln) on the River. 

6. In the City of Jefferson. 

7. In the French village Cote-sans-Dessein. 

8. About the little rivulet called "Bailey's Creek," three miles 
from the Missouri, 12 miles from the Gasconade. 

9. Bourbeuse, 25 miles west (must be "east) of Bailey's Creek. 

10. Washington, a German place. 

11. Union, Franklin County. 

12. About the rivulet, called "Mary-mac" (i. e. Meramec)." 

School children of McLean County, North Dakota, will finance 
the purchase of the site of Fort Mandan where Captains Meriwether 
Lewis and William Clark spent the historic winter of 1801 — 5 with 
their expedition to the Pacific Coast. Each school will stage a drama- 
tization of the story as furnished by the County Superintendent of 
Schools, the receipt to be used to cover the purchase, and the children 
will then give the site to the State for a State Park. 




ACQR American Catholic Quarterly Review. Philadelphia, Pa. 

AD Acta et Dieta, published by the Catholic Historical Society of St. 

Paul, St. Paul, Minn. 
Am America, publ. weekly by the America Press, New York City. 

CHR The Catholic Historical Review, publ. quarterly by the Catholic Uni- 
versity of America, Washington, D. C. 
CP The Church Progress, St. Louis. 
FR The Fortnightly Review, St. Louis, Mo. 
HAHR The Hispanic American Historical Review, published quarterly, 
Baltimore, Md. 
HRS Historical Records and Studies, published by the United States 

Catholic Historical Society, New York. 
ICHR Illinois Catholic Historical Review, publ. quarterly by the Illinois 

Catholic Historical Society, Chicago, 111. 
JISHS Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, publ. quarterly by 
the Illinois State Historical Society, Springfield. 111. 
LHQ Louisiana Historical Quarterly, published by the Louisiana His- 
torical Society, New Orleans, La. 
MHM Michigan History Magazine, published quarterly by the Michigan 
Historical Commission, Lansing, Mich. 
MinnHB Minnesota History Bulletin, published quarterly by the Minnesota 
Historical Society, St. Paul, Minn. 
MoHR The Missouri Historical Review, publ. quarterly by the State Histor- 
ical Society of Missouri, Columbia, Mo. 
MVHR The Mississippi l^alley Historical Reviczv, publ. quarterly by the 

Mississippi Valley Historical Association, Lincoln, Neb. 
PastBI Pastoral-Blatt, St. Louis, Mo. 
RACHS Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia. 

publ. quarterly by the Society, Philadelphia, Pa. 

TISHS 'Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society, publ. by the 

Illinois State Historical Society, Springfield, 111. 

WMH The JVisconsin Magazine of History, published quarterly by the 

State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Menasha, Wis. 

WW The Western Watchman, St. Louis, Mo. 

Acadians. Expenditures of the Department of 'Poblacion y Amistad de Indios' 
in behalf of the Acadian families sent to Louisiana, 1767 — 1786. MVHR. 
VI, I, December 1919, pp. 392 — 395. 

Alleghany, Pa. Bishop Michael Domenec (1876 — 1877). Bibliography. CHR. 
VI, I, April 1920, p. 129. 

Alleman John George, O. P., Rev. A great Illinois Pioneer, by Rev. J. B. 
Culemans. ICHR. II, 2. October 1919, pp. 208 — 222. 

Alton, 111. Bishop H. D. Juncker (1859— 1868) Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2, 
July 1920, p. 270. 

America. The Catholic Church in America in 1819, by J. Wilfrid Parsons, S. J. — 
CHR., V, 4, January 1920, pp. 301 — 310. 

American Catholic Historical Association, The, by Rev. Peter Guilday, CHR, 
VI, I, April 1920, pp. 3 — 14. 

American History. A Glance at some important Facts in Early American His- 
tory, by Marc F. Vallette. ACQR. XLIV, 175, July 1919, p. 387—411. 


Arbre Croche, Mich. The Story of a Famous Mission, by H. Bedford Jones. 

MRM, IV, 2—3, April— July 1920, p. 596—607. 
Arkansas. Early Exploration and Settlement of Missouri and Arkansas, by 

Cardinal L. Goodwin* MoHR. XIV, 3—4, April— July, 1920, p. 385—424. 
German Emigration to Arkansas, by Rev. E. J. Weibel. FR, XXVII, 2i, 

November i, 1920. p. 322. 
Forty Years of Missionary Life in Arkansas, by Rev. E. J. Weibel. FR. 

XXVII, 1920, p. 54—56; 66—68; 82—84; 98—100; 114— 115; 130—132; 

146—148; 164—166; 180—182; 196—198; 212—214; 228—229; 244—245; 

260—261; 276—278; 290—291; 306—307; 322—323; 33^—339; 356—358; 

Ashe, Thomas, His Description of the Osage Indians and of the Life of the 

people at Ste. Genevieve. MVHR, VI, 2, September 1919, p. 179. 
Austin, Tex. Minutes of the Ayutamiento of San Felipe de Austin, 1838 — 
1841, by Eugene C. Barker, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, October 1920. 

Bad Axe. The Battle of the Bad Ave, in Historic Spots in Wisconsin, by W. A. 

Titus. WMH. IV, 2, December 1920, pp. 196—199- 
Badin. Fathers Badin and Nerinckx and the Dominicans of Kentucky, by Rev. 

V. O'Daniel, O.P. CHR. VI, i, April 1920, p. 15—45- 
Some Letters of Fathers Badin and Nerinckx to Bishop Carroll, by Rev. 

V. O'Daniel, O.P. CHR. VI. i, April 1920, p. 66—88. 

Baird James. Expedition to Mexico. MVHR. VI, 2, September 1919, p. 189. 
Baltimore, Md. Archbishop Eccleston. Bibliography. CHR. VI, i, April 1920, 

p. 130. 

Bishop Lawrence Graessel : Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2, July 1920, p. 268. 

Archbishop Francis Patrick Kenrick: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2, July 1920, 

p. 270—271. 
Bapst John, S.J., Rev. and the Ellsworth Outrage, by Rev. Gerald C. Treacy, 

S.J. HRS. XIV, May 1920, p. 7—19- 
Bardstown, Ky. Bishop J. B. M. David: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i, April 1920, 

p. 128. 

Bishop Benedict J. Flaget: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i, April 1920, p. 132. 

Barron Bishop, in The Mission to Liberia. HRS. XIV, May 1920, p. 120—153. 
Beaubien. The Beaubiens of Chicago, by Frank G. Beaubien. ICHR. II, 3, 

January 1920. p. 348—364. 
Beauprez Peter F., Rev., Mission to Arkansas, by Rev. F. G. Holweok. CHR, 

VI, 2, July 1920, p. 157 foil. 

Beauregard G. T., Gen. A Sketch of, by his Son R. T. Beauregard. LHQ. II, 3, 

July 1919, p. 276—281. 
General Beauregard and General Blanchard in the Mexican War, by Hon. 

Milo B. Williams. LHQ. I, 4, April 1918. p. 299—302. 
Belleville, 111. Bishop J. Janssen : Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2, July 1920, p. 269. 
Benoit Francis M. (1768— 1819), a St. Louis Indian Trader. MVHR. VI, 2. 

September 1919, p. 179. 
Benton Thomas H. Recollections of, by John A. Oliphant. MoHR. XIV, 3—4. 

April— July 1920, p. 433-435- 
Black Hawk War. New Light on the. FR. XXVII, 5, March i, 1920, p. 74. 
Blanchard. Gen. Beauregard and Gen. Blanchard in the Mexican War, by Milo 

B. Williams. LHQ. i, 4. April 1918, p. 299—302. 
Bohemians. The— in America. FR. XXVII, 10, May 15, 1920. p. 151. 
Boise City, Idaho. Bishop A. J. Glorieux : Biblography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, 

p. 268. 
Booneville, Mo. MVHR. VI, 2, September 1919, p. 176. 


Brackenridge Henry MVHR. VI, 2, September 1919, p. 180. 
Bradbury John. MVHR, VI, 2. September 1919, p. 180. 

Cahensly Peter Paul. Visit to Arkansas, by Rev. E. J. Weibel. FR. XXVII. 21. 

November i, 1920, p. 322. 
Campbell Thomas J., S.J., Rev. Eusebio Kino. CHR. V, 4. January 1920, p. 

Cape Girardeau, Mo. in 1818. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 176. 
Carroll John Bishop. The Appointment of Father John Carroll as Prefect 

Apostolic of the Church in the new Republic (1783 — 1785), by Rev. Peter 

Guilday, CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 204—248. 
Charleston, S. C. Bishop John England: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, 

p. 131. 
Chicago, Archdiocese of, Antecedents and Development, by Joseph J. Thompson. 

ICHR. Ill, I. July 1920, p. 105 — 107. 
The Beaubiens of, by Frank G. Beaubien. ICHR. II, 3. January 1920, p. 

How Catholics care for Delinquent Boys and Girls in, by Bishop A. J. 

McGavick. FR. XXVII, 23. December i, 1920, p. 361. 
Catholic Churches and Institutions in Chicago in 1868, by George S. Philips. 

ICHR. II, 3. January 1920, p. 369—370. 
The Chicago Catholic Institute and the Chicago Lyceum, by John Ireland 

Gallery. ICHR. II, 3. January 1920, p. 303 — 322. 

Bishop James Duggan: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 129. 

Bishop Duggan and the Chicago Diocese, by George S. Philips. ICHR. II, 3. 

January 1920, p. 364 — 368. 

Archbishop P. A. Feehan: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 131. 

Bishop T. Foley: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 132. 

The Irish in Chicago, by Joseph J. Thompson. ICHR. II, 4. April 1920, p. 

The Double Jubilee, by Joseph J. Thompson. ICHR. Ill, i. July 1920, p. 

Reminiscences of Early Chicago, by Bedelia Kehoe Garraghan. ICHR. 

II, 3. January 1920, p. 261 — 268. 
Chouteau Auguste. Expedition to Santa Fe (1815— 1817). MVHR. VI, 2. Sep- 
tember 1919, p. 188. 
Church. The Catholic Church in America in 1819, by J. Wilfrid Parsons, S.J. 

CHR. V, 4. January 1920, p. 301 — 310. 
History. Our Earliest printed Church History in the United States. CHR. 

VI, 3. October 1920, p. 343—357- 
Cincinnati, O. Archbishop Wm. H. Elder: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 

1920, p. 130— 131. 

Bishop Edw. D .Fenwick : Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 131. 

The Most Rev. John Baptist Purcell, D.D., by Sister Mary Agnes McCann. 

CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 172—199. 
Glamorgan Jacques. An Unknown Expedition to Santa Fe in 1897, by Joseph 

J. Hill. MVHR. VI, 4. March 1920, p. 560—562. 
Cleveland, O. Bishop R. Gilmour: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 
Bishop T. F. Horstmann: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1929, p. 269. 

Cole Arthur Charles. Centennial History of Illinois. Vol. III. The Era of the 

Civil War, 1848— 1870. Review by J. B. Culemans. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, 

p. 113— 117. 


Collot, Gen. Collot Reconnoitering Trip down the Mississippi and his Aarrest in 

New Orleans by Order of the Baron of Carondelet, Governor of Louisiana, 

by Heloise Hulse Cruzat. LHQ. I, 4. April 1918, p. 303 — 328. 
Colonies. Occupation in the, by I^eone Garvey. Lorettine. XV, 4. December 1920, 

p. 2—4. 
Colonial Amusements, by Katherine O'Reilly. Lorettine. XV, 4, December 1920, 

p. 14 — 16. 
Period. Dress in the, by Ernestine Zavisch. Lorettine. XV, 4. December 

1920, p. II— 13. 

Homes, by Jessie Hurley. Lorettine. XV, 4. December 1920, p. 4 — 8. 

Travel, by Ruth Mary Loftus. Lorettine. XV, 4. December 1920, p. 8 — 10. 

Colonization. Irish Colonization in Illinois, by George F. O'Dwyer. ICHR. 

Ill, I. July 1920, p. 73—76. 
Colter John. Exploration of the Headwaters of the Missouri. MVHR. VI, 2. 

September 1919, p. 178. 
Columbia, Mo. First Settlement. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 176. 
Coppens Charles ,S.J.. Rev. Father Coppens' Recollections of Notable Pioneers. 

ICHR. IL 4- April 1920, p. 389—395- 
Cox Nathaniel. Letters of — (New Orleans) to Gabriel Lewis (Lexington, Ky.). 

LHQ. II, 2. April 1919, p. 179 — 192. 
Customs. Social Customs and Usages in Missouri during the last Century, by 

Mary Owen. MoHR. XV, i. October 1920, p. 176 — 190. 

Dallas, Tex. Bishop E. J. Dunne : Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 130. 
David J. B. M., Bishop: Bibliography CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 128. 
DeAndreis Felix: A Pioneer for God, by Ida M. Schaaf. Queens Work, 

August 1920, p. 205 foil. 
Dearborn. The Fort Dearborn Massacre. ICHR. II, 2. October 1919, p. 240 — 241. 
De la Hailandiere Celestine, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, 

p. 128. 
De Linctot, Guardian of the Frontier, by George A. Brennan. JISHS. X, 3. 

October 1917, p. 323 — 366. 
De Mun Julius. Expedition to Santa Fe (1815— 1817) MVHR. VI, 2. September 

1919, p. 188. 
De Neckere Hippolyte, S.J., Rev. HRS. XIV. May 1920, p. 10. 

Leon Raymond, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i, April 1920. p. 128, 

De Saint-Palais, Maurice de Long d'Aussac, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i- 

April 1920, p. 129. 
Domenec Michael, CM., Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 129. 
Donnelly Peter, Rev. Mission to Arkansas. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 163 foil. 

Pastor of Gravois (Kirkwood), Mo. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 166. 

Dominicans. Fathers Badin and Nerinckx and the Dominicans of Kentucky, by 

Rev. V. O'Daniel, O.P. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 15—45. 
Du Bourg Louis Valentine, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 129. 
Dubuis Claude Marie, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 130. 
Dubuque, la. Archbishop J. Hennessy: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 


Archbishop J. J. Keane: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 270. 

Duden. The Followers of, by William G. Bek. MoHR. XIV, i. Octiber 1919, p. 

29—73; XIV, 2. January 1920, p. 217 — 232; XIV, 3—5. April — July 1920, 

p. 436—458. 
Dufal Peter, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 129. 


Duggan James, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 129. 

Bishop Duggan and the Chicago Diocese, by George S. Philips. ICHR. 

II, 3. January 1920, p. 364—368. 
Dunne Edw. J., Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 130. 
Dupuy Ennemond, Rev. Mission to Arkansas. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 159. foil. 
Durier Anthony, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 130. 

Eccleston Samuel, SS., Archbishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, 

p. 130. 
Education. Questions concerning Rural — , by Rev. Edwin V. O'Hara. FR. 
XXVII, 10, May 15, 1920, p. 152. 

Egan Michael, O.S.F., Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 130. 
Elder William H., Archbishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 130. 
Ellsworth, Father John Bapst. S.J., and the Ellsworth Outrage, by Gerald C. 

Treacy, SJ.. HRS. XIV, May 1920, p. 7—19. 
England John, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 131. 
Farley John, Cardinal: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 131. 
Farnan John, Rev. A Link between East and West, by Thomas F. Meehan. 

ICHR. II, 3. January 1920, p. 339—347- 
Feehan Patrick A., Archbishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 131. 
Fenwick Edw. D., O.P., Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 131. 
Fever River, 111., in The Northeastern Part of the Diocese of St. Louis under 

Bishop Rosati, by Rev. J. Rothensteiner. ICHR. II, 3. January 1920. 
Fink Louis M., O.S.B., Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 131. 
Fitzgerald Edward, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p, 132. 
Flaget Benedict J., Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 132. 
Flash, Killian S. Bishop: Bibliography, CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 132. 
Florida. The War of 1812. Some Florida Episodes. LHQ. I, 4. April 1918, p. 

Foley Thomas, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 132. 
Forest John A., Bishop: Bibliography .CHR. VI, I. April 1920, p. 132. 
Fort Atkinson, Neb. Why Fort Atkinson was established, by Albert Watkins. 

Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days, July — September 1919. 
Fort Chartres. Two Hundreth Anniversary of Fort Chartres, by Gertrude Cor- 

rigan. ICHR. II, 4. April 1920, p. 474—488. 
Fort Dearborn Massacre. ICHR. II, 2. October 1920, p. 240 — 241. 
Fox. A Bibliography of the Fox Indians, by Truman Michelson. Journal of the 

Washington Academy of Sciences. November 19, 1919. 
Some General Notes on the Fox Indians, by Truman Michelson. Journal 

of the Washington Academy of Sciences. October 4 and 19, 1919. 
Franciscans. The— in Southern Illinois, by Rev. Silas Barth, O.F.M. ICHR. 

II, 2. October 1919, p. 161 — 174; II, 3. January 1920, p. 328—338; II, 4. April 

1920, p. 447-457; III, i. July 1920, p. 77—87. 
Franklin, Mo. Beginnings. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 176. 

Gallagher Nicholas A., Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 267. 
Galveston, Tex. Bishop P. Dufal: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 129. 

Bishop C. M. Dubuis: Bibliography. CHR VI, i. April 1920, p. 130. 

Bishop N. A. Gallagher: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 267. 

Garrigan Philip J., Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 267. 
Gartland Francis X., Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 267, 


Genet Edmond Charles. Isaac Shelby and the Genet Mission, by Archibald 

Henderson .MVHR. VI, 4. March 1920, p. 451—469. 
Gilmour Richard, ,Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 267. 
Glorieux Alphonse J., Bishop. :Bibliography.. Ibid. p. 268. 
Grace Thomas, O.P., Archbishop: Bibliography. Ibid. 
Graessel Lawrence, Bishop-Elect: Bibliography. Ibid. 
Grand River. Early Days on Grand River and the Mormon War, by Rollin J. 

Britton. MoHR. XIII, 4. July 1919, p. 388—398; XIV, i. October 1919, p. 

89 — no; XIV, 2. January 1920, p. 233 — 247; XIV, 3 — 4. April — July 1920, 

p. 459—473. 
Gratiot Charles, Gen. Fort Gratiot and its Builder, by William L. Jenks. MHM. 

IV, 1. January 1920, p. 141 — 155. 
Gravois (Kirkwood), Mo. Father Peter Donnelly appointed Pastor. CHR. 

VI, 2. July 1920, p. 166. 
Green Bay, Wis. Bishop F. X. Katzer: Bibliography .CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, 

p. 270. 

Bishop F. X. Krautbauer: Bibliography. Ibid. 

Gross William, C.SS.R., Archbishop: Bibliography. Ibid. p. 268. 

Guilday, Peter Rev. The American Catholic Historical Association. CHR. VI, i. 

April 1920, p. 3 — 14. 
The Appointment of Father John Carroll as Prefect Apostolic of the Church 

in the New Republic (1783— 1785). CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 204—248. 

Hayes. The — Administration and Mexico, by Lewis. Soiithzvestern Historical 

Quarterly, October 1920. 
Heiss James A., Archbishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 268. 
Hennessy John, Archbishop : Bibliography. Ibid. 
Henni John M., Archbishop: Bibliography. Ibid. p. 269. 
Herculaneum, Mo., in 1818. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 176. 
Heslin Thimas, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 269. 
Hierarchy. Titular Sees of the American — , by Bishop Owen B. Corrigan. CHR. 

VI, 3. October 1920, p. 322 — 329. 
History. Catholic Truth and Historical Truth, by Rev. William Henry Kent, 

O.S.C. CHR. VI, 3, October 1920, p. 275—293. 
Hogan John J., Bishop : Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 269. 
Holweck F. G., Rev. Beginnings of the Church in Little Rock, Ark. CHR. VI, 2. 

July 1920, p. 156— 171. 
Hughes John, Archbishop : Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 269. 
Hunt Wilson. MVHR. VL 2. September 1919, p. 181. 

Idaho. History of the State of — , by C. J. Brossman, Reviewed by Paul C. 

Phillips. MVHR. VI, i. December 1919, p. 427. 

■ Bishop A. J. Glorieux: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 268. 

An Oregon and Idaho Missionary: Father L. Verhaag, by Rev. J. Van der 

Heyd^n. RACHS. XXXI, 3. September 1930. p. 229—242. 
Illinois. The Frontier State, 1818 — 1848, by Theodore Calvin Pease. Reviewed 

by Rev. J. B. Culemans. CHR. V, 4. January 1920, p. 402 — 409. 
Centennial History of—. Vol. III. The Era of the Civil War, 1848— 1870, 

by Arthur Charles Cole. Reviewed by Rev. J. B. Culemans. CHR. VI, I. 

April 1920, p. 113 — 117. 
The Land of Men. Centennial Address, April 18. 1919, by Edgar A. Ban- 
croft. TISHS. XXIV. 1918, 31a. 
The Irish in Early Illinois, by Joseph J. Thompson. ICHR. II, 2. October 

1919, p. 223—238; I, 3. January 1920, p. 286 — 302. 


Irish Colonization in Illinois, by George F. O'Dwyer. ICHR. Ill, i. July 

1920, p. 73—76. 
in the Democratic Movement of the Century, by Allen Johnson. TISHS. 

XXIV, 1918, p. 3^-46. 

Virginia in the Making of Illinois, by H. J. Eckenrode. Ibid., p. 31 — 37. 

A Woman's Picture of Pioneer Illinois, by Mrs. Christiana H. Tillson. A 

reprint edited by Dr. Milo M. Quaife. Lake Side Press. Chicago. 
Pictures of Illinois One Hundred Years ago, Edited by Milo M. Quaife. 

Reviewed by Leila W. Tilton. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 286—287. 
The Franciscans in Southern Illinois, by Rev. Silas Barth, O.F.M. ICHR. 

11, 2. October 1919, p. 161—174; H, 3- January 1920, p. 328—338; II, 4. 

April 1920, p. 447—457; III, I. July 1920, p. 77— S7. 
Immaculate Heart of Mary. A Sketch of the Work and History of the Sisters 

Servants of the— (1845— 1920), by Sister Maria Alma, C.I.M. RACHS. 
XXXI, 4. December 1920, p. 276 — 338. 
Indiana. The Interest Indiana holds in Historic Illinois, by Charles W. Moores. 

TISHS. XXIV, 1918, p. 64—73. 
Indians. Handbook of Aboriginal American Antiquities, by W. H. Holmes. 

Bulletin 60 of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 
The American Indian as Participant in the Civil War, by Annie Heloise 

Abel. Reviewed by Charles H. Ambler. MVHR. VI, 4. March 1920, p. 

The Use of Plants by the Indians of the Missouri River Region, by Melvil 

R. Gilmore. 33d Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 
A Bibliography of the Fox Indians, by Truman Michelson./oi^mo/ of the 

Washington Academy of Sciences. November 19, 1919. 
Some General Notes on the Fox Indians, by Truman Michelson. Ibid., 

October 4 and 19, 1919. 

The Potawatomi, by Publius V. Lawson. Wisconsin Arch-aeologist. April 

Industry. Labor and Industry in Missouri during the Last Century, by Lee 

Meriwether. MoHR. XVI, i. October 1920, p. 163 — 175. 
Ireland John, Archbishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 269. 
Irish Colonization in Illinois, by George F. O'Dwyer. ICHR. Ill, i. July 1920, 

p. 73—76. 
The Irish in Early Illinois, by Joseph J. Thompson. ICHR. II, 2. October 

1919, p. 223 — 238; II, 3. January 1920, p. 286 — 302. 

The Irish in Chicago, by Joseph J. Thompson. ICHR. II, 4. April 1920, p. 

Janssen John, Bishop: Biblography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920. p. 269. 
Janssens Francis, Archbishop: Bibliography. Ibid., p. 269 — 270. 
Jesuits. The Jesuit in the Mississippi Valley, by Lawrence J. Kenny, S.J. MVHR. 

July 1920, p. 135—143. 
journalism. A Century of — in Missouri, by W. W. Byars. MoHR. XV, i. October 

1920, p. 53—73- 

Juan de Santa Maria, Father. The Martyrdom of—, by J. Lloyd Mecham. CHR. 

VI, 3. October 1920, p. 308 — 321. 
Juncker Henry D., Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 270. 
Junger Aegidius, Bishop: Bibliography. Ibid. 

Kain John J. Archbishop: Bibliography. Ibid. 

Kansas. Bleeding — and the Pottawatomie Murders, May 24, 1856, by Edward 
P. Bridgman. MVHR. VI, 4. March 1920, p. 556 — 560. 


Kansas City, Mo. Bishop J. J. Hogan: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920. 
p. 269. 

Katzer Frederic X., Archbishop: Bibliography. Ibid., p. 270. 

Keane John J., Archbishop: Bibliography. Ibid. 

Kearney. A Relic of the Kearney Expedition. FR. XXVI, 24. December 15, 1919, 
P- 372. 

Kellogg Louise Phelps. The Story of Wisconsin (1634 — 1848). VI. Politics and 
Statehood (1840— 1848). WMH. Ill, 4. June 1920, p. 397—412. 

Kelly Patrick, Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 270. 

Appointment to Richmond (1820). Ibid, p. 259 — 260. 

Kenny Lawrence, S.J., Rev. The Jesuit in the Mississippi Valley. MVHR. July 
1920, p. 135—143. 

The Mullanphys of St. Louis. HRS. XIV. May 1920, p. 70—110. 

Kenrick Francis P., Archbiship : Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 270 — 271. 

by Joseph M. O'Hara. RACHS. XXXI, 3. September 1920, p. 253—247. 

Letters to the Family of George Bernard Allen (1849 — 1863), Edited 

by F. E. T. Ibid., p. 175-214. 

The Kenrick — Frenaye Correspondence. Letters chiefly of F. P. Ken- 
rick and Mark Anthony Frenaye, Selected from the Catholic Archives of 
Philadelphia ; Translated, arranged and annotated as Sources and Helps 
to the Study of Local Catholic History. 1830— 1862. By F. E. T. Phila- 
delphia, 1920. 

Peter R., Archbishop: Bibliography. CHS. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 271. 

Kensington. Bibliography of the Kensington Rune Stone, by Rev. Francis J 
Schaefer. CHR. VI, 3. October 1920, p. 387 — 391. 

Another View of the Kensington Rune Stone by Rasmus B. Anderson 

WMH. Ill, 5. June 1920. p. 413 — 419. 

The Kensington Rune Stone, by Rev. Francis J. Schaefer. CHR. VI, 3 

October 1920, p. 330—333- 

Kentucky. Fathers Badin and Nerinckx and the Dominicans of — , by Rev. V 
O'Daniel, O.P. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 15—45. 

Kino Eusebio, by Rev. Thomas J. Campbell, S.J. CHR. V, 4. January 1920, p 

His Name and Birthplace, by Rev. F. G. Holweck. CHR. VI, 3. October 

1920, p. 372—381. 

Krautbauer Francis X., Bishop: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 271. 

Labor and Industry in Missouri during the Last Century, by Lee Meriwether. 

MoHR. XV, I. October 1920, p. 163 — 175. 
La Charette, the last Establishment of Whites on the Missouri in 1805. MVHR. 

VI, 2. September 1919, p. 172. 
La Crosse, Wis. Bishop K. C. Flash: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 132. 

Bishop M. Heiss: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 268. 

Lafayette's Visit to Ohio Valley States, by C. B. Galbreath. Ohio Arch-aeological 

and Historical Quarterly. July 1920. 
Lafitte. The Controversy on Lafitte's Biography, by Caspar Cusachs. LHQ. 

Ill, I. January 1920, p. 100 — in. 
Lalande Baptiste. Trip to Santa Fe (1804) MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 

Lamar Mirabeau Buonaparte. Biography of — , by A. K. Christizn.S outhivestcrn 

Historical Quarterly. October 1920. 
Las Casas. Was — the First Priest ordained in America? FR. XXVII, i. January 

I, 1920, p. 10. 


Leavenworth, Kas. Bishop L. M. Fink: Bibliigraphy. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, 

p. 131. 
Lefevere Peter Paul, Rev., in The Northeastern Part of the Diocese of St. 

Louis under Bishop Rosati, by Rev. J. Rothensteiner. ICHR. II, 4. April 1920, 

P- 396 — 416; III, I. July 1920, p. 61 — 72. 
Leopoldine Association. The — , the German 'Propagation of the Faith' Society, 

by Rev. Francis J. Epstein. ICHR. Ill, i. July 1920, p. 88—92. 
Le Sueur Charles Alexandre, Artiste et Savant Frangais et Amerique de 1816 

a 1839, by Mme Adrien Loir. Doctoral Thesis at the Uuniversity of Caen, 

Lincoln's Schooling and Pioneer Schools, by Rev. C. J. Schwarz. FR. XXVII, 4. 

February 15, 1920, p. 50— 51- 

Opposition to the Mexican War. FR. XXVII, 7. April i, 1920. p. 97. 

Lisa Manuel. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 177. 

Literature. A Century of — (in Missouri), by Alexander N. De Menil. MoHR. 

XV, I October 1920, p 74 — 125 
Little Rock, Ark. Beginnings of the Church at Little Rock, by Rev. F. G. Hol- 
weck. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 156 — 171. 

Bishop E. Fitzgerald: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 132. 

Louisiana. An address delivered before the Louisiana Historical Society, by 

Col. H. J. de la Vergne, April 30, 1919. LHQ. II, 2. April 1919, p. 174—176. 
The Admission of — into the Union, by Lillie Richardson. LHQ. I, 4. April 

1918, p. 333—352. 

The Emblematic Bird of — , by Stanley Clisby Arthur. LHQ. II, 3. July 

1 919, p. 248—257. 

Salaries of Curates and other Ecclesiastical Ministers of the Colony (1786 — 

1787). MVHR. VI, I. December 191 9, p. 390. 

The Flags of — , by Milledge L. Bonham, Jr. LHQ. October 1910. 

The Constitutional History of the — Purchase (1803 — 1812), by Everett S. 

Brown. University of California Publications in History. Vol. 10. 

The Origin of the Name of — , by John R. Ficklen. LHQ. II, 2. April 1919, 

p. 230—232. 

Financial Reports relating to — (in Spanish times), by Charles H. Cunning- 
ham. MVHR. VI, I. December 1919, p. 381 — 397. 

Year Book of the La. Society Sons of the American Revolution for 1919 — 

1920, New Orleans, 1920. 

The — Territory from 1682 — 1803, by Cardinal Goodwin. LHQ. Ill, i. 

January 1920, p. 5 — 25. 
■ Treaty between the French Republic and the United States concernnig the 

Cession of — , signed at Paris, the 30th of April 1803. LHQ. II, 2. April 

1919, P- 139—163. 
Women of the Sixties, by Florence Cooney Tompkins. LHQ. II, 3. July 

1919, p. 282—285. 

McCann Mary Agnes, Sister. The Most Rev. J. B. Purcell, D.D., Archbishop of 

Cincinnati (1800 — 1883). CHR. VI, 2. July 19.0, p. 172 — 199. 
McKnight Robert. Expedition to Mexico. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 189. 

John. Trip to Mexico (1821 — 1822), Ibid. 

McMahon John, Rev., at Fever River, 111., in The Northeastern Part of the 

Diocese of St. Louis under Bishop Rosati, by Rev. J. Rothensteiner. ICHR. 

II, 3. January 1920. 
McNair Alexander, at Prairie du Chien, Wis. (1818), in A Journal of Life in 

Wisconsin One Hundred Years ago, Kept by Willard Keyes. WMH, III, 4. 
June 1920, p. 452 foil. 

100 NOTES 

McQaid, Bishop. A Life of—, FR. XXVII, 8. April 15, 1920, p. 115. 

Manon Porcher. The Real versus the Ideal (Manon Lescault), by Victorin 

Dejan .LHQ. II, 3. July 1919, p. 307—317- 
Marquette. An Unrecognized Latin Letter of Father — , by Clarence W. Alvord. 

American Historical Reviciv. July 1920. 
University in the Making, by Rev. Gilbert J. Garraghan, S.J. ICHR. II, 4. 

April 1920, p. 417 — 440. 
Marty Martin, O.S.B., Bishop. Life and Labors of — , by Rev. Ignatius Forster, 

O.S.B. Indian Sentinel. January 1920. 
Mazzuchelli, O.P. An Account of — , by John C. Parish. The Palimpsest. Octo- 
ber 1920. 
Medicine. One Hundred Years of — in Missouri, by H. W. Loeb. MoHR. XIV, i, 

October 1919, p. 74 — 81. 
Mexico. The Hayes Administration and — , by Lewis. Southwestern Historical 

Quarterly. October 1920. 
Shelby's Expedition to — , by John N. Edwards. Ibid., p. 11 1 — 144; XIV, 2. 

January 1920, p. 248 — 264. 
Mexican War. Lincoln's Opposition to the . FR. XXVII, 7. April i, 1920, 

P- 97. 
The War with Mexico, by Justin W. Smith. New York. 2 Vol, 1919. 

Reviewed by Herbert Ingram Priestley in HAHR. August 1920, p. 374 — 381 ; 

by Rev. J. Rothensteiner, in CHR. VI, 3. October 1920, p. 368—372. 
Michigan. The French Period of Michigan History, 1634 — 1760, by Ina Mae 

Dupuis. Le Saulteur. 1920. 

State Teachers' Association Outline of Michigan History with References. 

MHM. IV, 4. October 1922, p. 765 — 775. 
The Mich. School Amendment and its Defeat, by Rev. F. J. Kelly. FR. 

XXVII, 22. November 15, 1920, p. 337. 

Tablets, Those, by B .M. FR. XXVII, i. January i, 1920, p. 11. 

Milwaukee, Wis. Archbishop J. A. Heiss: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, 

p. 268. 

Archbishop J. M. Henni : Bibliography. Ibid., p. 269. 

Archbishop F. X. Katzer: Bibliography. Ibid., p. 270. 

Minneapolis, Minn. History of the Church of St. Joseph, by Rev. Othmar Erren, 

O.S.B., Reviewed. FR. XXVII, 2. November 15 ,1920, p. 350. 
Mississippi. Voyage from St. Louis to Ste. Genevieve (1807). MVHR. VI, 2. 

September 1919, p. 171. 
Valley. The Jesuit in the , by Rev. Lawrence J. Kenny, S.J. MVHR. 

July 1920, p. 135—143. 
Missouri. Historical Articles in Missouri Newspapers: September 1917 — July 

1918 inclusive. MoHR. XIII, 4. July 1919, p. 424—457; August 1918— April 

1919 inclusive. MoHR. XIV, I. October 1919, p. 172 — 190. 

Early Exploration and Settlement of— and Arkansas, by Cardinal L. Good- 
win. MoHR. XIV, 3 — 4. April — July 1920, p. 385 — 424. 

in the First Years of the XlXth Century. MoHR. VI, 2. September 1919, 

p, 172. 

Population in 1820. Ibid., p. 174, 176. 

in 1820, by Jonas Vilas. MoHR. October 1920, p. 36 — 53. 

Constitution Making in — , by C. H. McClure. MVHR. July 1920, p. 112— 121. 

One Hundred Years of Medicine in—, by H. W. Loeb. MoHR. XIV, i. 

October 1919, p. 74 — 81. 

Labor and Industry in — during the Last Century, by Lee Meriwether. 

MoHR. XV, I. October 1920, p. 163 — 175. 

A Century of Journalism in — , by W. V. Byars. Ibid., p. 53 — 73. 

NOTES 101 

A Century of Literature (in — ), by Alexander N. De Menil. Ibid., p. 74 — 125. 

The Development of Negro Public School System in — , by Henry S. Wil- 
liams. Journal of Negro History. April 1920. 
Social Customs and Usages in — during the Last Century, by Mary Celia 

Owen. MoHR. XV, i. October 1920, p. 176—190. 
Social Reform in — during the Last Century, by George B. Mangold. Ibid., 

p. 191— 213. 

The Travail of — for Statehood, by Walter B. Stevens. Ibid., p. i — 34. 

A Century of Transportation in — , by Edward J. White. Ibid., p. 126 — 162. 

History of Woman Suffrage in — , by Mary Semple Scott. MoHR. XIV, 

3 — 4. April — July 1920, p. 281 — 384. 
Mormon War. Early Days on Grand River and the Mormon War, by Rollin 

J. Britton. MoHR. XHL 4- July 1919, p. 388—398; XIV, i. October 1919, 

p. 89 — 110; XIV, 2. January 1920, p. 233 — 247. 
The in Hancock Co., 111., by Herbert Spencer Salisbury, JISHS. 

VIII, 2. July 191 5, p. 281—287. 
Mullanphy. The Mullanphys of St. Louis, by Rev. Laurence J. Kenny, S.J. HRS. 

XIV. May 1920, p. 70 — no. 

Nashville, Tenn. Bishop P. A. Feehan : Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, 

p. 131. 
Natchez, Miss. Concession of Ste. Catherine at the Natchez. LHQ. II, 2. April 

1919, p. 164—173. 

Bishop W. H. Elder: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 130—131. 

Bishop T. Heslin: Bibliography. Ibid., VI, 2. July 1920, p. 269. 

Bishop F. Janssens : Bibliography. Ibid., p. 269 — 270. 

Natchitoches, La. History of — , by Milton Dunn. LHQ. Ill, i. January 1920, 

p. 26—56. 

Bishop A. Durier: Bibliography. CHR. VI, I. April 1920, p. 130. 

Neale Leonard, Archbishop: Notes on. CHR. VI, 3. October 1920, p. 381—384. 
A Glory of Maryland, by M. S. Pine. Philadelphia Salesian Press. 1917. 

Reviewed by Lucian Johnston. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 113. 
Negro .American— Slavery, by Ulrich Bonnell Phillips. Reviewed by T. B. 

Moroney. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 255 — 257. 
The Development of the — Public School System in Missouri, by Henry S. 

Williams. Journal of Negro History. April 1920. 
Nerinckx. Fathers Badin and Nerinckx and the Dominicans of Kentucky, by 

Rev. V. O'Daniel, O.P. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 15—45. 
Some Letters of Fathers Badin and Nerinckx to Bishop Carroll. Ibid., p. 

Nesqually. Bishop A. Junger: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 270. 
New Mexico. Spanish Colonization of — in the 17th Century, by Ralph E. 

Twitchell. Publications of the Historical Society of N. M., No. 22. 
Franciscans in — , by Rev. Zephyrin Engelhardt, O.S.F., Franciscan Herald. 

January 1920. 

New Orleans, La. (Historical Sketch), by W. O. Hart. LHQ. L 4- April 1918, 

P- 3S3—366. 
The Founding of—, by Delvaille H. Theard. LHQ. Ill, i. January 1920. 

p. 68—70. 
The Story of the Ancient Cabildo, by Charles Patton Dimitry. LHQ. Ill, i. 

January 1920, p. 57 — 67. 

a Treasure house for Historians, by Clarence Wyatt Bisham. LHQ. U, 3. 

July 1 91 9, p. 237—247. 

Bishop L. R. De Neckere: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 128. 

102 NOTES 

Bishop L. W. V. Du Bourg: Bibliography. Ibid., p. 129 — 130. 

Archbishop F. Jannsens : Bibliography. Ibid., VI, 2. July 1920, p. 260 — 270. 

New York, Bishop J. Dubois; Bibliography. Ibid., VI, i. April 1920, p. 129. 

Cardinal J. Farley: Bibliography. Ibid., p. 131. 

Archbishop J. Hughes : Bibliography. Ibid., VI, 2. July 1920, p. 269. 

Northwest. The— Territory, by Charles A. Kent. JISHS. VIII. 2. July 1915, 
p. 26&— 280. 

Establishing the American Colonial System in the Old — ,by Elbert Jay Ben- 
ton. TISHS. XXIV, 1918, p. 47—63. 

The Footprints of Catholic Missionaries in the — . The Augustinian (Kala- 
mazoo, Mich.), January 31; February 7, 1920. 

Company. The, by Gordon C. Davidson. University of California Publica- 
tions in History. Vol. 7. 

Nuttall Thomas. His Western Travels. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 189. 

O'Daniel Victor, O.P., Rev. Fathers Badin and Nerinckx and the Dominicans of 

Kentucky. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 15 — 45. 
Some J^etters of Fathers Badin and Nerinckx to Bishop Carroll. Ibid., p. 

O'Reilly Patrick, V. Rev., V.G. of Little Rock, Ark., in Forty Years of Mis- 
sionary Life in Arkansas. FR. XXVII, 14. July 1920, p. 212 — ^213. 
Oregon. An — and Idaho Missionary: Father L. Verhaag, by Rev. J. Van der 

Heyden. RACHS. XXXI, 3. September 1920, p. 229 — 242. 
City, Ore. Archbishop Wm. Gross: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, 

p. 268. 
Osage Indians. Description by Thomas Ashe. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, 

p. 179- 

Mo. Laid off in 1819. Ibid., p. 176. 

War, by Robert A. Glenn. MoHR. XIV, 2. January 1920, p. 201 — 210. 

Ostlangenberg Caspar Henry, Rev., by Rev F. G. Hoi week. ICHR. Ill, i. July 

1920, p. 43—60. 

Palafox. Don Juan de — y Mendoza, Obispo de Puebla y Osma, Visitador y 
Virrey de la Nueva Espana. by Genaro Garcia. Mexico, Bouret, 1918. Re- 
viewed by Joachim Walsh, O.P. CHR. VI, 3. October 1920, p. 358 — 360. 

Paris Simon, Rev. Mission to Arkansas. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 166 foil. 

Parsons J. Wilfrid, S.J., Rev. The Catholic Church in America in 1819. CHR. 

V, 4. January 1920, p. 301—310. 

Pease Theodore Calvin. Illinois, The Frontier State, 1818 — 1848. Reviewed by 
Rev. J. B. Culemans. CHR. V, 4. January 1920, p. 402 — 409. 

Penalosa Diego de. New Light on — ; proof that he never made an Expedition 
from Santa Fe to Quivira and the Mississippi River in 1662, by Charles W. 
Hackett. MVHR. VI, i. December 1919, p. 313 — 335. 

Philadelphia, Pa. Bishop M. Egan : Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, p. 130. 

Archbishop F. P. Kenrick : Bibliography. Ibid., VI, 2. July 1920, p. 270 — 271. 

Pittsburgh, Pa. Bishop M. Domenec: Bibliography. Ibid. VI, i. April 1920, p. 129. 

Pocahontas, Ark., in Forty Years of Missionary Life in Arkansas, by Rev. E. J. 
Weibel. FR. XXVII, 16. August 15, 1920, p. 245; 17. September i. p. 260 — 
261; 18. September 15, 276 — 278; 19. October i, p. 290 — 291; 21. November 
I, p. 3222—323; 22. November 15, p. 338—339; 23. December i, p, 356—358; 
24. December 15, p. 372—373- 

Pollock Oliver, Patriot and Financier, by Margaret B. Downing. ICHR. II, 2. 
October 1919, p. 196 — 207. 

NOTES 103 

Pottawatomi. The, by Publius V. Lawson. Wisconsin Archaeologist. April 1920. 
Bleeding Kansas and the — Murders. May 25, 1856, by Edw. P. Bridgman. 

MVHR. VI, 4. March 1920, p. 556—560. 
Prairie du Chien, Wis. A Journal of Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years 

ago, kept by Willard Keyes. WMH. Ill, 4. June 1920, p. 443 — 465. 
Purcell James. Expedition to Santa Fe (1802— 1805) MVHR. VI, 2. September 

1919, p. 187. 
J. B., Archbishop of Cincinnati, by Sister Mary Agnes McCann. CHR. 

VI, 2. July 1920, p. 172 — 199. 
Publications. A List of Some Early American— (1733— 18909). RACKS. XXXL 

3. September 1920, p. 248 — 256. 

Quivira. New Light on Don Diego de Penalosa; proof that he never made an 
Expedition from San Fe to Quivira and the Mississippi River in 1662, by 
Charles W. Hackett. MVHR. VI, i. December 1919, p. 313 — 335. 

Richard Gabriel, Rev., Last Will and Testament of. The Augustinian (Kala- 
mazoo, Mich.), August 21, 1920. 

Richard — Bole Joseph, Rev. Mission to Arkansas. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 
166 foil. 

Richmond, Va. Bishop J. J. Keane: Bibliography, Ibid., p. 270. 

Bishop P. Kelly: Bibliography. Ibid. 

Rolle Charles, Rev. Mission to Arkansas. Ibid., p. 161 foil. 

Rosati Joseph, Bishop. The Northeastern Part of the Diocese of St. Louis under 
Bishop Rosati, by Rev. John Rothensteiner. ICHR. II, 2. October 1919, p. 
175 — 195; n, 3. January 1920, p. 269—285; II, 4. April 1920, p. 396—416; 
III, I. July 1920, p. 61 — 72. 

St. Augustine, Fla. Bishop W. J. Kenny: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, 

p. 270. 
St. Charles, Mo. in 1807. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 172. 
Ste. Genevieve, Mo. in 1807. Ibid., p. 179 

in 181 8 Ibid., p. 176. 

St. Joseph Mo. Bishop J. J. Hogan : Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 269. 
St. Louis, Mo. in 1807, according to Ashe. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 171, 

in 1807, according to Christian Schultz. Ibid. 

in 1820. Ibid., p. 175. 

incorporated as a City (1822). Ibid., p. 176. 

The Northeastern Part of the Diocese of St. Louis under Bishop Rosati, 

by Rev. John Rothensteiner, ICHR. II, 2. October 1929, p. 175 — 195 ; II, 3. 

January 1920, p. 269 — 285; H, 4. April 1920, p. 396 — 416; III, i. July 1920, 

p. 61—72. 

Bishop J. Duggan: Bibliography. CHR. VL i. April 1920, p. 129. 

Archbishop J. J. Kain: Bibliography. Ibid., VI, 2. July 1920, p. 270. 

Archbishop P. R. Kenrick: Biblography. Ibid., p. 271. 

St. Mary of the Lake, 111., University of, by Rev. D .J. Riordan. ICHR. II, 2. 

October 1919, p. 135 — 160. 
St. Paul, Minn. Bishop T. Grace: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 268. 

Archbishop J. Ireland: Bibliography. Ibid., p. 269. 

Saint — , Cyr Irenee Rev. in The Northeastern Part of the Diocese of St. Louis 

under Bishop Rosati, by Rev. John Rothensteiner. ICHR. II. 4. April 1920, 

p. 409 — ^416. 
Father, Missionary and Proto-Priest of Modern Chicago. ICHR. 11, 3- 

January 1920, p. 323—327. 

104 NOTES 

Salt River, III. Father Peter Paul Lefevre at—, in The Northeastern Part of 
the Diocese of St. Louis under Bishop Rosati, by Rev. John Rothensteiner. 

ICHR. II, 4. April 1920, p. 396—416. 
San Antonio, Tex. Bishop J. A. Forest: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 1920, 

p. 132. 
Saulnier Edmond, Rev. Mission to Arkansas. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 157 foil. 
Savannah, Ga. Bishop F. X. Gartland: Bibliography. Ibid., p. 267. 

Bishop W. Gross: Bibliography. Ibid., p 268. 

Scanlan John F. Necrological Notice. ICHR. Ill, 1. July 1920. p. no— 112. 
Schaaf Ida M. A Pioneer for God (F. De Andreis). Queen's Work. August 

1920, p. 205 foil. 
Schoolcraft Henry R. MVHR. VI, 2. September I9i9,p. 185—186. 
Schultz Christian in St. Louis in 1807. Ibid., p. 179. 

Seattle, Wash. Bishop A. Junger: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 270. 
Sioux. Life and Labors of Bishop Martin Marty, O.S.B., the Apostle of the 

Sioux, by Rev. Ignatius Forster, O.S.B. Indian Sentinel, January 1920. 

City. Bishop P. J. Garrigan: Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 267. 

Shelby's Expedition to Mexico, by John N. Edwards. MoHR. XIV, I. October 

1919, p. Ill— 144; XIV, 2. January 1920, p. 248—264; XIV, 3 — 4. April — 
July 1920, p. 474—493. 

Isaac d htane7vVj BN9(69sn9$.w86o96y.HoVPal„V*a2pg, VUETETT 

Isaac and the Genet Mission, by Archibald Henderson. MVHR. VI, 4. 

March 1920, p. 451 — 469. 
Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, — A Sketch of their Work 

and History (1845— 1920), by Sister Maria Alma, C.I.M. RACKS. XXXI, 

4. December 1920, p. 276—338. 
Slavery, American Negro — , by Ulrich Bonnell Phillip?. Reviewed by T. B. 

Moroney. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 255 — 257. 
Social Reform in Missouri during the Last Century, by George B. Mangold. 

MoHR. XV, I. October 1920, p. 191— 213. 
Spanish Fort, La. Historical Data of, by Joseph H. De Grange. LHQ. II, 3. 

July 1919, p. 269 — 271. 
Statistics. A Plea for Reliable Catholic—. FR. XXVII, 8. April 15, 1920, p. 113. 
Sullivan Roger C. Necrological Notice. ICHR. Ill, i. July 1920, p. 108 — 109. 
Swisshelm Jane Grey: Agitator, by Lester Burrell Shippee. MVHR. VII, 3. 

December 1920, p. 206 — 227. 

Trade Indian. The United States Factory Scheme for trading with the Indians. 

1796— 1822, by Royal B. Way. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 220—235. 
Routes. Past and Present, to the Canadian Northwest, by Frederic J. Alcock. 

Geographical Review, August 1920. 
Traders. The First Push Westward of the Albany—, by Helen Broshar. MVHR. 

VII, 3. December 1920, p. 228 — 241. 
Transportation. A Century of — in Missouri, by Edward J. White. MoHR. XV, i. 

October 1920, p. 126 — 162. 
Travel, Western — , by Harrow Lindley. MVHR. VI, 2. September 1919, p. 

p. 167— 191. 

Verhaag L., Rev. An Oregon and Idaho Missionary, by Rev. J. Van der Heyden. 

RACHS. XXXI, 3. September 1920, p. 229—242. 
Vincennes, Ind. Bishop C. De la Hailandiere: Bibliography. CHR. VI, i. April 

1920, p. 128. 

Bishop M. deSaint-Palais: Bibliography. Ibid., p. 129. 

NOTES 105 

Virginia in the Making of Illinois, by H. J. Eckenrode. TISHS. XXIV, 1918. 

p. 31—37- 
Visitation. Notes on the Foundation of the Monastery of the — Sisters in the 

United States. CHR. I, 3. October 1920, p. 381—386. 

War of 1812. Some Florida Episodes. LHQ. I, 4. April 1918, p. 330 — 332. 

Black Hawk. New Light on the—. FR. XXVII, 5. March i, 1920, p. 74. 

Civil. The American Indian as Participant in the — , by Annie Heloise Abel. 

Cleveland, 1919. Reviewed by Charles H. Ambler. MVHR. VI, 4. March 1920, 

P- 578—579. 
Mexican. Gen. Beauregard and Gen. Blanchard in the—, by Milo B. Wil- 
liams. LHQ. I, 4. April 1918, p. 299 — 302. 

Lincoln's Opposition to the — . FR. XXVII,7. April i, 1920, p. 97. 

Mormon. Early Days on Grand Rver and the—, by Rollin J. Britton. MoHR. 

XIII ,4. July 1919, p. 388—398; XIV, I. October 1919, p. 89—110; 2. January 

1920, p. 233—247. 
in Hancock Co., 111., by Herbert Spencer Salisbury. JISHS. VIII, 2. 

July 1915, p. 281—287. 
Wheeling, W. Va. Bishop J. J. Kain : Bibliography. CHR. VI, 2. July 1920, p. 270. 
Wisconsin. The Story of — , (1634— 1848) VI. Politics and Statehood (1840 — 

1848), by Louise Phelps Kellogg. WMH. IH, 4. June 1920, p. 397 — ^412, 
The Trails of Northern—, by James H. McManus. WMH. IV, 2. December 

1920. p. 125—139. 
Early Life in Southern—, by David F. Sayre. WMH. Ill, 4. June 1920, p. 

420 — 427. 
Woman Suffrage. History of the— Movement in Missouri, by May Semple Scott. 

MoHR. XIV, 3—4. April— July, 1920, p. 281—384. 



Before continuing the regular series of the correspondence ex- 
changed between Bishop Du Bourg and the Congregation of Propa- 
ganda, we are inserting here a few letters, copies of which have reached 
us lately from Rome, that belong to the period already treated in these 
pages. These letters had either been overlooked by the Roman copyist, 
or are, for reasons sometimes hard to determine, placed in other Reg- 
isters than that to which they chronologically belong. To minimize as 
much as possible the slight disorder thus introduced in the series, we 
assign to these various letters numbers referring them to their regular 
place in point of time. Our readers, we trust, will pardon us this dis- 
order ; but they will be glad to understand, and see, by the results, that 
the work of the Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis, of securing 
at home and abroad the sources of our History, is going on uninter- 
ruptedly, despite the difficulties of the times. 


Prefect of Propaganda^ 

Eminentissimis Patribus Sacrae Congregationis de Propadanda 

Ludovicus Guil. Du Bourg Episcopus Ludovic. in Foederatis 
Americae Sep. lis Statibus. 

1. Humillime exponit nuper advenisse in superiores hujus Dioe- 
ceseos partes Rev. D.num Franciscum Celini,- alias Canonicum S.ti 
Spiritus Romae, nunc sacerdotem Congregationis Missionis, qui cum 
in illo Hospitali medicam artem didicerit, plurimum in his partibus 
Religioni prodesset, si sibi a S.ta Sede indulgeretur facultas praedictam 
artem exercendi, praesertim in agris et oppidis, ubi perdifficile est so- 

1 Original in Archives of Propaganda. Scritture Refcrite net Congressi. 
Cod. 4. America Centrale: Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama. Dal 1818 a tto il 
1820. Dociiin. 88. 



lertem medicum invenire, et ubi propter incolarum paupertatem, opta- 
bile esset ut gratis ministrarentur medicinae consilia. 

2. Inter facultates Episcopis missionum concessas, restringuntur 
ad Catholicos tantuiii dispensationes matrimoniales. Cum vero R.mus 
Epus Bardensis, ea restrictione retentus, renuisset ad matrimonium 
duas partes admittere, quarum una erat catholica, secus vero altera, 
propter interveniens cognationis impedimentum, et de eo Sac. Con- 
gregationem certiorem fecisset, ab ilia reprehensus est nimiae rigid- 
itatis, qua factum erat ut ad judicem saecularem, contrahendi causa, 
se stetissent. Dubium inde oratori oritur, utrum revocata censeri debeat 
hujusmodi restrictio, quae procul dubio plurimis, iisque gravissimis 
difficultatibus, viam aperit. Dubium istud, eo potissimum confirmatur, 
quod nuper separatas facultates receperit orator, dispensandi super 
impedimento disparitatis citltiis, etiam pro matrimoniis ineundis ; et 
multo benignius erga Baptizatos procedendum sibi videtur quam erga 

Eminentissimis Patribus, cum summa reverentia et submissione 
se inclinat 

E.E. S.S. 

Humillimus et obsequentissimus servus 

+ LuD. GuiL. Epus Ludov.s 
Sti Ludovici, in agro Missouriano 
Sup.ris Louisianae. die Junii 7.a 1819. 


To Their Eminences the Cardinals of the S. Congregation of 

Louis William Du Bourg, Bishop of Louisiana, in the United 
States of America, 

1. Most humbly represents that there arrived recently in the 
Upper portion of this Diocese the Rev. Francis Cellini- formerly Canon 
of the Holy Ghost, Rome, now priest of the Congregation of the Mis- 
sion. As this gentleman learned medicine in the hospital of the Holy 
Ghost, it would be of great benefit to Religion in these parts, if the 
Holy See would grant him permission to practice that art, especially 
in country districts and small villages, where it is next to impossible 
to find a competent physician, and where, owing to the people's pov- 
erty, it were to be desired that they could get gratuitously medical 
advice. ^ 

- Although Bishop Du Bourg always writes the name 'Celini.' the proper 
spelling is 'Cellini.' On Father Francis Cellini, see Rev. J. Rothensteiner : 
Chronicles of an Old Missouri Parish, St. Louis, 191 7, p. 14 and foil. 

3 The reply of Propaganda, dated December 11, 1819 (See St. L. Cath. 
Hist. Review, Vol. I, p. 310-31 1) granted the permission requested. How true 
was the situation here described by Bishop Du Bourg in support of his plea, we 
learn from a long letter of Father Rosati to Father Baccari, Vicar General of 
the CM. in Rome, dated May 20, 1821 : "The sick-calls are very fatiguing. They 
are the province of Father Cellini, who very often restores to the sick bodily 


2. Among the faculties granted to the missionary Bishops, those 
concerning matrimonial dispensations contain this restriction: for 
Catholics only. Now, when the Right Rev. Bishop of Bardstown, act- 
ing on this restriction, refused to permit matrimony to two parties, 
one of whom was a Catholic, and the other not, owing to the presence 
of an impediment of relationship, the S. Congregation, advised of the 
fact, rebuked him for his excessive rigorism, which was the cause that 
the said couple went to get married before the judge. From that the 
petitioner is in doubt whether this restriction should be regarded as 
suppressed, for it most certainly gives rise to very many and very 
grave difficulties. This doubt is strenghtened still more by the fact 
that the petitioner received separate faculties to dispense from the 
impediment disparitatis culttis, even for marriages not yet contracted, 
and he is inclined to think that more leniency should be shown to bap- 
tized persons than to infidels. 

To the Lords Cardinals is humbly tendered the most profound 
expression of the respect and submission of 

Their Eminences' 

Most humble and obedient servant 

+ Louis Wm. Bishop of Louisiana 
St. Louis, Territory of Missouri, 
in Upper Louisiana, June 7, 1819. 

XIX. A. 


Eminentissime Praefecte, 

Praesentium lator est Ill.mus D. Angelus Inglesi Romanus 

qui post longas peregrinationes Novam Aureliam appulsus, divino 
nutu se suaque Ecclesiae mancipare cum decrevisset. Sanctum Ludovi- 
cum se contulit, et post octo mensium probationem per quos admiranda 

health at the same time as the health of the soul, by means of the remedies 
which he dispenses gratis. He thereby renders a most important service to these 
poor people who would be utterly unable to call the Doctor, owing to the ex- 
orbitant fee of thirty, forty, and even fifty Dollars which they would have to 
pay if they called him only once from the nearest village" (The nearest Doctor 
was at St. Genevieve,twenty-four miles from the Barrens). This sad condition 
of things, partly coped wtih by the permission granted to Father Cellini, revived 
after his departure from the Seminary; and a few years later. Father Odin, 
writing to Father Cholleton, V. G., of Lyons, asked him to look for a good 
physician, who would be willing to settle at the Barrens. 

^ Original in Archives of Propaganda. Atti di Congrcs^azione 1822 (June 3) 
extra Summarium. p. 927. This letter was written from St. Louis, on April 20 
(1820), as we learn from the answer of Propaganda given on July 21 of the 
next year, and published in the Review^ Vol. H, p. 145-147. Father Inglesi, 
ordained on March 20, 1820, had started, a few days later, for New Orleans, 
whence he was to sail for Europe. Evidently the letter was intended to reach 
him before he set out from Louisiana; and no doubt it did, as he did not sail 
until May, at the earliest. 


praebuit virtutis specimina, seque mihi arctissimo necessitudinis vin- 
culo devinxit, ad sacerdotium sub titiilo missionis rite promotus est. 

Quocirca Eminentiae Vestrae dubium proponere velim: = De 
promovendis advenis ad sacros ordines non satis inter Americanos prae- 
sules constat, archiepiscopo Baltimorensi aliter a caeteris sentiente. 
Hie enim juxta Constitutionem Innocentii XII, exigit decern annorum 
domicilium ; caeteri vero judicant satis esse si se Sacramento adstrin- 
gant, et nullum sit dubium de eorum manendi voluntate. Communiori 
sententiae viam aperuit fel. record. Illmus Joan. Carroll Arch. Baltimor. 
cui subscripsimus fere omnes harum provinciarum Episcopi, duobus 
rationum momentis nixi : primum est necessitas harum missionum, 
paupertasque tum ecclesiarum, tum candidatorum quae non sinit eos 
gravissimis sumptibus per tot annos probationis subjacere. est quod inter canonicos ordinationis titulos adnumeretur 
titiilus Missionis, videtur de eo perinde ac de titulis partimonii, bene- 
ficii ac paupertatis esse judicandum. — Cum igitur obtinuerit regula ut 
clericus alienae Diocesis possit legitime ordinari ab Episcopo Dioecesis 
ubi beneficium impetravit, ut Religionis vota nunquam-. . .quidem titulo 
Missionis dicendum? — Ad haec non parum roboris adjicere censemus, 
quod praefata Innoc. XII regula ad Catholica tantum regna dirigi 
videatur, et vix supponi possit eam fuisse tanti Pontificis mentem ut 
ad loca missionum extenderetur, ubi non sine gravissimis incommodis 
executioni mandari potest. — De hoc tamen sententiam 
humiliter praestolamur, supplicantes ut si quid bona fide erravimus, 
nobis benigne condonet. 

Aliud est dubium, quod me summis difficultatibus implicavit, et 
de quo forsan scriptis mentem suam aperire renuet Sac. haec Congre- 
gatio. Verum ad meae conscientiae pacem satis erit si nullo me vitupe- 
rio afficiat. — Eminentiam Vestram latere non potest qua prudentia et 
longanimitate opus sit in administratione Ecclesiae Neo-Aurelianensis, 
ne forte cum abusus e medio tollere tentet Episcopus, auctoritatem 
suam contemptui exponat, et omnia evellat ecclesiasticae subordina- 
tionis et pacis germina. Inter varios autem abusus qui per longa hujus 
ecclesiae dissidia irrepsere, unus est qui plurimis SS. Pontificum 
constitutionibus ita adversatur, ut quo pacto silentium de eo servari 
liceret prorsus nescirem ; satius tamen judicavi in opportuniora temp- 
ora ipsius correctionem differre, cum mihi constaret banc in praesenti 
sine evidenti Religionis discrimine mandari non posse. — Liberorum 
muratorum conventicula adeo in florentissima hac civitate obtinuerunt, 
ut vix unum inter centum reperias qui iis nomen non dederit. Mos 
autem sensim invaluit ut mortuorum fratrum feretra in Ecclesiam 
adsportentur, et inde ad coemeterium. cruce et clero praecedentibus 
ducentur, societatis insignibus onusta. Huic intolerabili abusui locum 
dedit ignorantia, ne pejus quid suspicer,Patris Antonii dudum parochiae 
illius Rectoris, aliorumque ejusdem farinae sacerdotum qui ad haec 
postrema tempora ipsi in sacro ministerio assistebant. Nuper vero, cum, 
Deo Optimo favente, tres eximios presbyteros in eam ecclesiam inducere 
mihi prospere cesserit, repugnantibus illis contra flagrantem banc 
Ecclesiasticae legis infractionem, persuasi, ut manum ad os admoverent, 


OGulosque clauderent, certo sciens ipsos, si vel verbum proferrent, 
protinus ejiciendos, sicque spem omnem praescindendam res in melius 
aliquando convertendi. — Prudenti hac agendi ratione contigit ut sibi 
generalem existimationem conciliaverint, spesque bona afifulgeat fore 
ut, remoto praesenti Rectore, possint huic et plurimis aliis malis con- 
venientem afferre medicinam. 

De his, caeterisque ad banc Dioecesim attinentibus Rev.dum D. 
Inglesi audiri velim, quippe qui Dioecesis statum et hominum mentes 
sagacius exploravit et multa scitu digna docere, aut summopere utilia 
suggerere pro sua prudentia valet. Hie, postquam Romae prospexerit, 
consilium iniit per varios Europae partes novas in pauperrimae ipsius 
missionis subsidium eleemosynas colligere et Novam Aureliam se quan- 
tocius restituere, ubi alteram Ecclesiam pro catholicis anglicae linguae 
erigere, me suggerente, statuit. — Postulationes etiam episcoporum 
hujus americanae Confederationis, de erectione duarum novarum 
sedium episcopalium Sac. huic Congregationi proferet. — 

Your Eminence : — 

The bearer of this letter is the Illustrious Rev. Angelo Inglesi, 
who, coming to New Orleans after much travelling, and resolved to 
devote himself and all his goods to the Church, reported to St. Louis, 
and after a probation of eight months, during which he gave remark- 
able marks of virtue, and became attached to me by the closest bonds 
of friendship, was regularly ordained to the priesthood sub fitulo 

In this regard I wish to submit a doubt to Your Eminence. In 
the matter of promoting strangers to Sacred Orders, there is no suf- 
ficient unity of views among the American prelates. The Archbishop 
of Baltimore follows an opinion different from that of others : for he. 
according to the Constitution of Innocent XII, requires a domicile of 
ten years ; all the others think it sufficient that the candidates bind 
themselves by oath, and that there be no doubt concerning their inten- 
tion to remain permanently. This common opinion was advocated first 
by the late Most Rev. John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, and 
practically all the Bishops of this country adopted it, basing their view 
on the following two reasons : first, the necessity of these missions and, 
second, the poverty of the churches and of the candidates as well, which 
does not allow the latter to bear the considerable expenses entailed by 
so many years of probation. 

The second reason was that, as the titulus Missionis is numbered 
among the canonical titles of ordination, it would seem that it follows 
the same rules as the titles of patrimony, benefice, or poverty. Now 
as the rule is that a cleric of another Diocese may be lawfully ordained 
by the Bishop of the place where he has obtained a benefice, and that 
the vows of Religion never- .... [was it not natural] to conclude the 

2 A word illegible. 


same about the titulus Missionisf Furthermore we deemed it a strong 
argument that the aforesaid rule of Innocent XII seems to be laid 
down only for Catholic countries and that it could scarcely be sup- 
posed that that great Pontiff had ever in mind to extend this rule 
to the missionary countries, where it can be observed only with the 
greatest difficulty. However, we shall on this point wait humbly for 
the decision of the S. Congregation, and beseech it to pardon us if we 
made a mistake in good faith.^ 

There is another doubt, which has involved me in very great diffi- 
culties. Perhaps on this point the S. Congregation will not care to 
give its opinion in writing;^ but it will be enough for the peace of my 
conscience if no blame is expressed. Your Eminence is undoubtedly 
well aware of how much prudence and forbearance is needed in ad- 
ministering the Church of New Orleans, lest, when the Bishop endeavors 
to suppress abuses, he expose authority to contempt, and uproot every 
germ of ecclesiastical subordination and of peace. Now among the 
abuses which have crept in, thanks to the divisions which have so long 
troubled this Church, there is one which is so directly in opposition 
with many Constitutions of the Sovereign Pontiffs, that I do not see 
how I could keep silence about it. Yet I thought it better to postpone 
its correction until more opportune times, Avhen it was evident to me 
that I could not now proceed in the matter without putting certainly 
in jeopardy the interest of Religion. Such in this flourishing city is 
the popularity of the lodges of Free Masons, that you could find 
scarcely one man out of a hundred who does not belong to them. Now 
there has gradually developed the custom that, when one of the mem- 
bers of the Society dies, his coffin, covered with the insignia of the 
Society, is brought to the church, and thence to the cemetery, preceded 
by the cross and the clergy. The origin of this intolerable abuse is to 
be ascribed to the ignorance, not to say more, of Father Anthony, 
who has long been the Rector of this parish, and of other priests of the 
same ilk, who until recently were his assistants. But now, with 
the help of God, I have been able to put three excellent priests in that 
parish ; as these, of course, were loath to countenance this flagrant 
infraction to the law of the Church, I have told them to say nothing, and 
not to pretend to see anything, for I know for sure that, should they 
utter a single word, they could be at once thrown out, and so would 
all hope or remedying things be nipped in the bud.^ This policy of 

3 It will be recalled that the answer of Propaganda was an unqualified refusal 
to admit the plea set forth here by Bishop Du Bourg. 

* The Bishop's surmise was right, if we are to judge from the fact that no 
documents from Propaganda that have been preserved say a word about this 

5 All this matter is dealt with at length in one of the letters of Father Mar- 
tial to his friend Billaud, at the French Embassy in Rome. As Father Martial 
was one of the "three excellent priests" placed at the Cathedral of New Orleans 
by Bishop Du Bourg, it cannot be without interest to learn the viewpoint of 
these priests. Thus he wrote on July 13, 1822: "Lamentations have been fre- 
quently addressed both by letters and by word of mouth to the virtuous Prelate 
(Bp. Du Bourg) who, whilst doing justice to the delicacy and true principles of 


prudence has resulted in that they have won the esteeem of all, so that 
there is hope that, when the present Rector is removed, proper remedy 
may be applied to this and many other evils. 

Concerning these matters, and all the others touching this Diocese, 
I wish that Rev. Fr. Inglesi could be heard, as he is quite thoroughly 
conversant with the condition of the Diocese and public opinion here, 
and is able to tell many things worth knowing and to make prudent 
and most useful suggestions. When he has done in Rome, his inten- 
tion is to go through the various countries of Europe to collect new 
alms for helping this most poor mission, then to come back as soon as 
possible to New Orleans, where he has decided at my suggestion to 
start a new parish for English speaking Catholics. He will present 
also to the S. Congregation the petitions of the Bishops of the United 
States in favor of the erection of two new Episcopal Sees. 

his priests could not help, however, advising them to continue, in regard to mar- 
riages, baptisms and burials, what had been practised heretofore, and to follow 
the crying abuses already established, taking upon himself the responsibility in 
the matter of Decrees of the Sovereign Pontiffs against freemasonry, duelling, 
concubinage, etc. Yet, despite of all this, conscience does not lose its rights, 
and very often one asks one'self : Are we building up, or pulling down. Religion 
in this country? For if, besides winking at dances, theatrical spectacles, dis- 
regard of fasting and abstinence, we must also bend on matters of discipline 
on which the decency of exterior worship depends, what will become of our 
ministry? .... Most of the people die without ever receiving the sacraments, 
and every single one of them is buried with the greatest pomp and noise, and 
the Church displays all her funeral luxury. You may not always be certain that 
the person was baptized, or you may have no doubt whatever but that he, or 
she, lived notoriously in concubinage. The Legislature permit themselves once 
in a while to pronounce divorce. The divorced parties marry again, at most 
before the civil magistrate; but the funerals always go the same way, and the 
priests are marched out. For usurers as well as for free-masons and apostates, 
the pomp is the same: Subvcnitc, Snncti Dei; occurite ,angeli, etc.; Non intres 
in judicium cum scn'o tuo, etc. For prostitute negroes and negresses, all the 
same. . . The trustees have that income for the Board: the priests are salaried 
by them, and must go on, even though they are murmuring and conscience 
protests loudly. Good Father Anthony consents to everything, never refused 
anything: who would act in opposition to such praiseworthy condescension? 
Hence he is beloved by everybody: his picture is everywhere, so great is the 
veneration in which he is held ..." — From the above it is easy to understand 
how it may have been stated that Father Anthony de Sedella himself was a free- 
mason — a mere gratuitous assertion, however. The position of Bishop Du Bourg 
in regard to free-masonry was made infinitely more delicate, difficult and intri- 
cate by the fact that his own brother was at that time most prominent in Lodge- 
dom: he it was indeed, if we are correctly informed, who organized the Grand 
Lodge of New Orleans, and was, for a number of years its Venerable. 



Prefect of Propaganda^ 

R.mis et Fratribus et CoHegis meis Bardensi, Mauri- 
castrensi et Cincinnatensi me supplex adjungo ad postulandam denuo 
erectionem novae Sedis in oppido San-clarensi, vulgo Detroit in agro 
Michigan cum annexa administratione Agri Northwestensis, et ad pro- 
ponendos ad eam occupandam — 1° loco Rev.m Benedictum Fenwick, 
sacerdotem Soc. Jesu benemeritissimum, annorum circiter quadraginta 
duorum, qui nunc Charlestown Vic. gen. lis et praecipue Pastoris, sub 
Episcopo, muneribus fungitur. Huic, praeter insignem facundiam, 
spectatissimas virtutes, et perfectam utriusque idiomatis gallici et 
anglici, quae in memoratis agris aeque vigent, peritiam, specialiter 
suffragatur quod in Marylandia, uno ex Americae statibus, natus fuerit 
et educatus. 

2" loco Principem Rnthenum Rev. D. Demetrhim Augustinum de 
Galitsin, sac. Cong.i, ut puto, nimis notum, quam ut in commendandi 
ejus virtutibus, sacrificiis et copiosa eruditione necesse sit immorari. Is, 
credo, quinquagesimum annum vix excedit. — In utrumvis horum ceci- 
derit S. electio, certo scientes utrumque totis viribus Episco- 
patui repugnaturum, ut evitentur fastidiosae et periculosae [morae] 
necessarium censemus ut Brevi Electionis adjungatur Mandatum Apos- 

In conferenda caeteris sacra ordinatione, in posterum inhaerebo 
tenori SS. DD. N. P. Innoc. XII. — Ut secus facerem me 
hactenus moverat exemplum venerandi Arch.i Baltimorensis D. Joannis 
Carroll, aliorumque Americae Antistitum, qui, re ad trutinam vocata, 
et coram optimae notae theologis mature discussa indicarunt, Americae 
et Asiae missionibus applicandam non esse dictam Constitutionem, eo 
potissimum fundamento nixi, quod cum ex una parte tribus canonicis 
titidis Patrimonii, Beneficii et Paupertatis additus subinde quartus 
fuerit, nempe titidus Missionis, idem de isto judicandum censebant 
quod de caeteris potestatem exteros, saltem transmarinos, clericos 
ordinandi. — Ex altera vero parte, quod summa in his partibus opera- 
riorum inopia, evidens Religionis utilitas, et parvissimum, aut certe 
nullum, detrimentum quod ex paucis hujusmodi ordnationibus patie- 
bantur Europeanae Ecclesiae, fortissimam gignebant praesumptionem, 
consensus propriontm Episcoporum. — Quidquid sit, et licet vere&r ne 
scrupulosa legis observatio multis gravissimisque incommodis missio- 
nes nostras subjiciat, oraculo S.anctae Sedis firmiter obtemperabo. 

Accepi saecularisationem P. Francisci Em.lis Maynez et matrimo- 
niales dispensationes quas solicitaveram, pro quibus amplissimas Sac- 
crae refero gratias. Et Deum O. M. pro sospitate et longa 

1 Original in Archives of Propaganda. Scritture Referitc nci Congressi. 
Cod. VII. America Centrale: Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama. 1821-1822. — 
This is the continuation of Letter XXVIII, of which we had only a summary, 
Vol. II, p. 148-150. 


incolumitate Eminentiae Vestrae indesinenter deprecans, in amplexu 
sacrae purpurae me cum debita humilitate profiteer 

Eminentiae Vestrae 
Novae Aureliae die Febr. 8.a 1822 

Obsequentissimum et famulum 


Ep. Neo.-Aurel. 
Eminentissimo Fontana Praefecto 
S. Congr. de Propaganda Fide. 


I unite with my Right Rev. Brothers and Colleagues the Bishops 
of Bardstown, Mauricastrum and Cincinnati, in humbly beseeching 
once more the erection of a new See in the town of St. Clair (Detroit), 
in the Territory of Michigan, to which should be added the administra- 
tion of the Northzvest Territory; and likewise in proposing for that 

In the first place, the Rev. Benedict Fenwick, S.J., a priest of 
great merit, about forty-two years old, who at present is Vicar General 
and Rector of Charleston, under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of that 
place. Besides his great eloquence, his uncommon virtues, and his 
perfect command of the two languages, French and English, spoken in 
the above-mentioned Territories, he has specially in his favor the fact 
that he was born and educated in Maryland, one of the States of Am- 
erica ; 

As second choice, the Russian Prince Rev. Demetrius Augustine 
de Galitzin, too well known, I think, to the S. Congregation to dispense 
me to expatiate on his virtues, the sacrifices he has made, and his great 
erudition. So far as I know, he is scarcely over fifty. 

We know for sure that, whichever of the two is selected by the 
S. Congregation, he will resist strenuously his elevation to the Episco- 
pate ; we are, therefore, of opinion that, in order to avoid fastidious and 
dangerous delays, the Brief of Election should be accompanied by a 
Mandatum Apostolicuui. 

In conferring sacred Orders ^ I shall henceforth conform to the 
prescriptions of the Constitution of His Holiness Pope Innocent XII. 
Heretofore I did otherwise, after the example of the venerable Arch- 
bishop of Baltimore, Most Rev. John Carroll, and of the other Amer- 
ican Prelates, who, after a thorough study and discussion of the matter 
before theologians of note, concluded that the said Constitution did 
not apply to America and Asia. What led them to this view was prin- 
cipally the fact that when to the three canonical titles of Patriiuonv, 

2 This whole paragraph makes once more reference to the canonical ques- 
tion treated in the letter of April 20, 1820 (above), and is an answer to the 
reply of Card. Fontana on the Subject (See St. L. Cath. Hist. Review, Vol. 
II, p. 14S-147). 


Benefice and Poverty, a fourth was added, namely the title of Mission, 
they thought that this title, just like the other three, implied for them 
the faculty of ordaining alien clerics, at least from overseas. On the 
other hand, the extreme scarcity of laborers here in this country, the 
evident utility to Religion, and the very little, if any, detriment caused 
to the Churches of Europe by these ordinations, which are not frequent, 
contributed powerfully to presume the consent of the Bishops of iUch 
candidates. However this may be, and although I am not without mis- 
givings that the scrupulous observance of the law may be the occasion 
of many and very grave inconveniences for our missions, I shall abide 
unswervingly by the pronouncement of the Holy See. 

I have received the secularization papers of Father Francis Em. 
Maynez, and the matrimonial dispensations I had solicited ; for these 
I wish to extend profuse thanks to the S. Congregation. Praying Al- 
mighty God unceasingly to keep Your Eminece in good health and to 
spare you a long time, I kiss the sacred purple and with the proper 
sentiments of humility sign myself 

Your Eminence's 

Most respectful and devoted Servant 


Bp. of New Orl. 
New Orleans, February 8, 1822. 
To His Eminence 
Card. Fontana, Prefect 
of the S. Congregation of Propaganda. 

XXX. A. 

Eminentissime Praefecte, 

Etsi jam pluries Sacram Congr.m importunis forsan expostula- 
tionibus lacessiverim. ne in erigenda nova Sede pro Superiori Louisiana 
praecipiter ageret, quiescere non potest mens mea quin denuo idem 
argumentum refricem, donee certior fiam preces meas benignius accep- 
tas esse. Non parva siquidem res est de qua agitur, nihil certe minus 
quam tota subversio religiosi aedificii quod tanto cum labore in his 
regionibus coepit assurgere. Jam quippe notum feci Sacrae Congr. 

1 Original in Archives of Propaganda. Att{ di Congreg,iazionc. 1823, p. 239. 
— There is reason to believe that, even though this letter bears the date, Octo- 
ber I, it is the same as mentioned by Bishop Du Bourg writing to Father Rosati. 
from St. Louis, on September 11 : "I have written again to stop the division of 
the Diocese, as premature. My letter is a very strong plea. It is the fruit of 
the most serious reflections : and my soul is much more quiet since I wrote it. 
A Coadjutor is, and will be for a long time, the only thing we need. Fortun- 
ately, even in case the division were already made, I am sure that Father B. 
would not accept the appointment." If this surmise as to the identity of the 
letter be founded, then we should conclude that the prelate gave himself some 
more time for reflection, since he decided to send his plea only three weeks 
after composing it. 


talem esse in iis rerum omnium inopiam, ut ne vel una parochia uni 
sacerdoti sustentando sufficiat, et ut Episcopus sibi, suoque clero et 
seminario, ab inferioris Louisianae eleemosynis praecipue annonam 
hactenus traxerit. Quod si scindatur spirituale illud vinculum quo 
ambae partes sub uno eodemque Pastore nectuntur planum est protinus 
cessatura subsidia, et deficiente pane, tum Episcopum, turn inferiores 
ministros alio pro alimoniis se recepturos. — His, in diversis episto- 
lis latius immoratus sum, et fateor mihi admirationem facere quod 
Sacra Congr.o ne verbo quidem tam validam objectionem removere 
aut solvere tentaverit, praesertim cum ea semper mens Ecclesiae fuerit 
ut nunquam erigeretur Sedes Episcopalis, priusquam aliquo saltem 
modo Episcopali mensae provisum fuisset. Addidi etiam, quod, si 
differatur divisio, spes est bene fundata fore ut, decursu temporis, pos- 
sessiones quas in Statu Missouriensi ad mensam episcopalem acquisivi. 
quaeque hactenus exiguum valde proventum afferunt, ita fructiferas 
facere possin, ut novae Sedis sustentationi sufftciant. Interim vero toti 
Louisianae unum Episcopum abunde fore, si Coadjutorem laboris et 
sollicitudinis obtineat, quem nescio cur ipsi denegandum, cum aliis Epis- 
copis, hujusmodi opis minus indigis, promptius fuerit concessa. 

2. be his, ut sibi melius placuerit, statuet Sacra Congregatio. 
Quod ad me spectat, ita persuasum habeo praefatam divisionem, in 
praesenti ren^m conditione, Religionis exitio versuram, ut consensum 
quem jam in id dederam penitus nunc revocem, paratus etiam pro 
totius jurisdictionis meae abdicatione apud Sanctam Sedeni postulare 
potiusquam praedictae Sedis erectioni manum utcumque praebere. 
Quam sane mentis meae determinationem confido non esse ambitioni 
aut pervicaciae tribuendam. Si solum considerare velit Sacra Congre- 
gatio nedum aliquid utilitatis mihi ex conservatione superioris Louisi- 
anae proveniat, nihil me ex ea nisi laboris et solicitudinis incrementum 
recipere, sed me urget Religionis utilitas, de qua, ut opinor, optima 
mihi subest opportunitas judicandi. His mature perpensis spero Sa- 
cram Cong., posthabita ad praesens proposita divisione, (salva semper 
institutione novae Sedis pro Alabama et Floridensi Agro) de Coadju- 
tore mihi quamprimum concedendo nunc solum cogitaturam. 

3. Ad munus hoc implendum jam aetate nimis provectus, viribus- 
que fractus Rev. D. Sibourd. Quod D. Rossetti Mediolanensem iterata 
jam vice mihi ad Episcopatum proposuerit Sacra Congr., satis arguit 
ipsi minus notum fuisse hunc sacerdotem, Praeterquam enim ita cor- 
pore deformis est, ut ipsius aspectus risum Americanis moveret. pro- 
funda tum humanarum, tum divinarum literarum inscitia laborat, 
gallici et angli Idiomatum aeque rudis. - Sed quod pejus est, jam 
duobus retro annis, summo omnium nostrum dolore et molestia in 
vesaniam i)enitus actus est, se Regem Angliae sibi fingens, pudoris 
aeque ac Religionis aeque oblitus. Tandem post annum integnmi in 
hoc deplorabili statu exactum, mente partim recuperata, in patriam 
regredi voluit, ubi eum nunc incolumem appulisse confido. 

LUD. GuiL. Ep. Neo-Aurel. 
S. Ludovici in Statu 
Missouriano, Octob. 1. An. 1822. 


Your Eminence: — 

Repeatedly I have bothered the S. Congregation with my import- 
tunate requests against precipitation on its part in the erection of a 
new Diocese in Upper Louisiana. Nevertheless my mind will not be 
at rest, unless I rehash once more the same plea, and until I have the 
certainty that my prayers are kindly heeded. The matter at stake is, 
indeed, of the greatest importance, as it entails no less than the com- 
plete downfall of the religious edifice which has begun to rise in that 
territory at the cost of so much labor. I have already told the S. Con- 
gregation that there is such a lack of everything, that not one parish 
can afford maintenance to a single priest, and that the Bishop has, thus 
far, drawn his support, and that of his priests and his Seminary, mainly 
from the offerings of Lower Louisiana. Should the spiritual bond 
which unites both parts under one and the same Pastor be severed, at 
once clearly the means of support will cease to be forthcoming; and 
for sheer lack of bread, the Bishop and the clergy will have to go else- 
where to get their support. I have dwelt at some length on this con- 
sideration in various letters ; and I must say that I wonder why the 
S. Congregation did not bring forward a single word to remove or 
solve such a strong objection; indeed I am wondering all the more, 
because the policy of the Church has always been never to create an 
Episcopal See before some provision at least was made for the Bishop's 
maintenance. I added, moreover, that, if the division were postponed, 
there was a well-founded hope that, in the course of time, the proper- 
ties which I have bought in Missouri for the Bishop's maintenance, and 
which hitherto have yielded only a very small income, might be made 
to bring revenues sufficient for the support of the new See. Mean- 
while, one Bishop is enough for the whole of Louisiana, if he can have 
a Coadjutor to help him in his labors and solicitude : why this help 
should be denied him, whilst it has been readily given to others less 
in need than he, I am at a loss to realize. 

2. This affair the S. Congregation will settle as it pleases. As 
to me, I am so thoroughly convinced that this division at present, will 
turn out to the detriment of Religion, that I revoke absolutely the 
consent, I had given to it, and am ready to ask the Holy See to accept 
my resignation from all my jurisdiction, rather than to lend a hand in 
any way whatever to the erection of the intended new See. I trust 
that this determination on my part shall not be attributed to ambition 
or stubbornness. For if the S. Congregation but adverts to the fact, 
that my keeping Upper Louisiana, far from being to me of any kind 
of help, is, on the contrary, only a source of trouble and solicitude, it 
will understand that I am moved by no other motive than the good of 
Religion, which I am, I think, in an excellent position to appreciate. 
I hope that the S. Congregation, after mature reflection, will set aside 
the division now proposed (not, however, the creation of a new See 
for Alabama and the territory of Florida), and think only of giving 
me as soon as possible a Coadjutor. 


3. To discharge this office, the Rev. Mr. Sibourd is now too old 
and impotent. As to Father Rossetti, from Milan, the fact that the 
S. Congregation has twice already proposed him to me as Coadjutor, 
is clear enough evidence that this priest is very little known to it. 
For, besides being disgraced by a bodily deformity that would 
make the mere sight of him an object of ridicule to our Americans, he 
is woefully devoid of all culture either profane or ecclesiastical, and 
incapable to speak either French or English. But there is still worse : 
two years ago, to the extreme sorrow and annoyance of us all, he be- 
came completely insane, believing he was the King of England, and 
forgetful of all rules of decency and Religion. Finally, after a whole 
year spent in this deplorable condition, as he partly recovered his mind, 
he wished to go back to his native country, where I trust he must, at 
the time of this writing, have arrived safely. 

+ LOUIS WM. Bp. of New Orl. 
St. Loius, Mo., October 1, 1822. 

With this letter we resume the regular chronological order of this 


Assistant at the Cathedral, Nezv Orleans} 

Washington, le 27 F^v. 1823. 

Je viens de recevoir, Mon cher Ami, votre lettre du 21 Janvier. 
J'approuve votre voyage : mais ne venez pas me chercher ici, ou je ne 
serai plus. Je vous donne de loin ma benediction — partez en droiture, 
s'il est possible, pour Livourne, pour eviter les f raix ; voici les avis 
c|ue j'ai a vous donner. 

1° Pour votre ame n'oubliez pas vos pratiques spirituelles, et in 
omnibus exhihe te sicut Dei mimstrum. 

2° Dans I'int^ret de la Mission, voyagez incognito, autant que 
possible, point de quetes publiques. 

3° Ne nous menez aucun pretre ; si ce n'est deux ou trois bons 
Missionnaires de votre Congregation, capables de relever Mr. Rosati. 
Vouz savez les qualites qu'ils doivent avoir : une grande douceur sur 
tout, point de rigorisme, et quelque chose d'engageant dans leurs ma- 

1 Strictly speaking, this letter, as is clear from the subscription, does not 
belong to the Correspondence of Bishop Du Bourg with Propaganda. However 
its finds naturally its place here, as Father Borgna — though he did not go to 
Europe for that purpose — was to be the agent and spokesman of the Bishop 
with the S. Congregation, and he was directed to leave at least a copy of this 
letter with the Cardinal Prefect. He indeed left the original, which is now in 
the Archives of Propaganda, Scritture Refcrite nei Congressi. Codice 8. America 
Centralc. Dal Canada all Istmo di Panama. Dal 1823 a tto il 1826. 


4° Faites connoitre au Card. Prefet par quels artifices ce mal- 
heureux Inglesi m'a s^duit moi, Mr. De Andreis et tous ceux, pretres 
ou laiques, qui lont connu ici. Dites que je reconnois mon erreur et 
la deplore; et que telle est la confusion et la dou eur ou cette triste 
d^couverte me plonge, que j'ai ^t^ tent^ plusieurs fois de solliciter de 
Sa Saintet^ la permission de me retirer pour pleurer cette faute ; que 
le seule crainte de voir mon Diocese perdu par cette demande m a re- 
tenu: mais que si Son Eminence juge, convenable de me decharger 
d'une place, dont je me suis rendu indigne par une si haute imprudence, 
ie suis pret a me d^mettre, et je lui en aurai la plus vive reconnoissance. 
Qui que ce soit qui vous parle cette triste affaire, ne craignez pas 
de desavouer ce malheureux imposteur, et de peindre la desolation ou 
il me plonge. ^. , , 

5° Au milieu de ces grands sujets d'affliction, Dieu me manage des 
consolations extraordinaires, qui me font croire que mes fautes ont 
trouve grace devan lui, a cause de ma bonne intention. N en parlez a 
personne a la Louisiane, ni et Europe, except^ a votre Sup^rieur et au 
Card Prefet— La premiere est le succt^s de mes d-marches aupr^s 
du Gouvernement Am^ricain, pour I'Etablissement d une Mission in- 
dienne a Council Bluff, ou se trouve une garnison en grande partie 
catholique.— Le Gouvernement accorde $800 par an pour quatre Mis- 
sionaires, et il payera les % des fraix d'etablissement ainsi que de 
I'dducation des jeunes Indiens.— J'avois pens6 a donner cette Mission 
a Votre Compagnie, mais elle est et sera longtemps trop peu nom- 
breuse pour s'en charger. Les J^suites vont la prendre : ils me donnent 
a cet effet deux excellens Pretres et deux fr^res cat^chistes. Council 
Bluff est a peu pres a 1000 milles de I'embouchure du Missouri. Les 
Missionaires partiront sous deux ou trois semaines. — La seconde, qui 
a trait a I'Etablissement Episcopal a la N.lle Orleans, est la cession 
que viennent de me faire les dames Ursulines de cette ViUe de leur 
Convent Eglise et dependances, dont j 'aurai possession aussitot qu elles 
seront transferees.— J'ai obtenu a cet effet du Gouvernement main 
levee de touies ses pretentions sur le terrain de cet Etablissement. 
Vous sentez tous les avantages qu cette collocation donnera a I'Kveque. 
L'Eglise seule, qui, et abbatant toutes les cloisons et murs dont elle 
partagee, sera un grand vaisseau, lui sera d'une ressource infinie. — 
La grande maison offre tous les logemens necessaires pour College, Se- 
minaire, etc. Et vous imaginez bien que dans mes plans sur cet o]):ct, 
c'est sur votre Congregation que je fonde mes esperances. Voila par 
consequent pour elle magnum ostium apertum. — J'ai senti des lors 
la necessite de la renforcer, par tous les moyens, de bons sujets, capables 
de tout et en cela j'ai eu un succes qui passe toutes mes esperances et 
c'est la ma troisieme consolation. J'ai lieu de croire qu'avant ^six mois 
elle recevra une recrue de 5 ou 6 sujets au moins, peut-etre dix, 
presque tous formes, possedant bien I'anglois et le f rangois ; et ayant 
fait une partie de leur Theologie. La Providence m'a fait arriver ici 
pour y decouvrir une mine. Et afin que ceci ne soit pas une^ enigme 
pour vous, et pour les Superieurs, voici tout uniment ce que c'est. Les 
Jesuites se trouvant oberes d'une dette enorme qui les oblige a arreter 


toute d^pense, ont r^solu de dissoudre leur Noviciat, compost de sept 
sujets flamands, dont plusieurs d'un grand m^rite; ils m'ont pro- 
pose de me charger de ceux, qui, dans rimpossibilit^ d'entrer dans leur 
Soci^t^, voudraient s'engager dans la votre. Ils se chargent de payer la 
d^pense de leut transport. J'irai demain ou apr^s visiter le Noviciat, 
et faire choix de 3 ou 4 des meilleurs. II y a dans un autre quartier un 
Pretre de cinquante ans, plein de talent et d'exp^rience dans la direc- 
tion et I'enseignement, qui m'a communique son desir d'entrer dans 
votre soci^te avec deux ou quatre excellens jeunes eccl^siastiques 
formes par lui a la vertu et aux sciences, tous avanc6s dans leur Th6o- 
logie. Ceci n'est pas encore aussi assure que I'autre ; mais je crois qu'il 
aura lieu. — Enfin quelques bons sujets, de mon Diocese, soit Pretres, 
soit S^minaristes outre ceux qui s'en sont d^ja ouverts a M.r Rosati, 
sont probablement prets a se r<^unir. Ces details convaincront vos Su- 
perieurs de Timportance de cet Etablissement, et de la n^cessit^ de 
faire un dernier sacrifice et hommes de m^rite pour le consolider. 

6° Priez votre Sup^rieur de vous donner communication des let- 
tres que je lui ai fait passer pour la Propagande, avec priere d'en soigner 
et d'en presser les demandes. Une d'elles est la suspension de la divi- 
sion du Diocese. Vous savez aussi bien que moi que le diviser au- 
jourd'hui seroit d^truire au moins la partie Sup^rieure. J'ai demand^ 
3 ans pour consentir a cette division. II ne vous. sera pas difficile de 
faire comprendre au Card.l Pr^fet, la necessity d'obtemp^rer a cette 
demande, ou il est bien Evident que loin d'avoir un int^ret personnel, 
je ne peux avoir qu'un surcroit de tres vives solicitudes. En tout 6tat 
de cause, ce seroit a la N.lle Orleans que je me fixerai comme le chef- 
lieu du Diocese, et le titre de mon Si^ge. On demandera peut-etre 
pourquoi je ne I'ai pas fait plutot. Vous en savez bien les raisons, et 
Dieu a permis que ces raisons existassent pour me mettre dans le cas 
d'aller preparer pour le Missouri et les quartiers Sup^rieurs la voie a 
I'dtablissement d'un Siege Episcopal, qui sans cela n'auroit jamais pu 
s'y dtablir, et au d6faut duquel la Religion auroit infailliblement p^ri 
dans cet immense quartier, lequel offre une si vaste et si int^ressante 
perspective a I'imagination meme la moins ardente. — Ma seconde de- 
mande etoit qu'on me donnat M.r Rosati pour Coadjuteur, en le con- 
tinuant chef de votre Compagnie jusq a ce qu'il put etre dignement 
remplace et cette quality. Le Diocese ne pouvant etre divis^ de long- 
temps, vous sentez par experience que j'ai absolument besoin d'un 
Coadjuteur dans I'intervalle, car I'absence de I'Eveque est le plus 
grand des maux sur I'un comme sur I'autre point et il ne pent etre a 
la fois sur les deux. Mon Coadjuteur rdsideroit au Seminaire, et d'oti 
il iroit de tems a autre visiter St. Louis et les autres paroisses. Si a 
r^poque ou tout sera pret pour r^rection du Siege a St. Louis, on veut 
y nommer M.r Rosati, je ne m'y opposerai pas certainement — apres 
tout si Ton craint de lui donner le titre de Coadjuteur, qu'on le fasse 
Eveque in partibus, et mon Grand Vicaire pour toute la Haute Loui- 
siane comme on a fait derni^rement pour I'eveque de Quebec. — Tra- 
vaillez aussi a cela. — Enfin ma troisi^me demande ^toit que la Propa- 
gande pourvfit a la dotation du Si^ge de la N. Orl. en faisant \in regie- 


ment motive, pour obliger les Pretres employes dans le saint Ministere 
a payer a I'Eveque la dime de leurs revenus fixes et casuels, sauf le 
cas d'impossibili^ dont TE-veque seroit le juge. Vous savez que TEveque 
n'a absolument rien, que ce qu'il plait a nos bonnes Ursulines de lui 
donner, chose tres pr^caire et tres insuffisante pour ses pressans besoins, 
et pour ses charges multipli^es, pendant que la plupart des pretres 
jouissent d'un bon revenu. Dans ce plan de taxation d'un dixieme, 
chacun payeroit en proportion de ses moyens. II en est peu qui ne pus- 
sent facilement en ^conomiser un Dixieme. J'avois encore demande 
qu'on engageat les Ursulines a c^der leur Couvent a I'Eveque a I'^poque 
de leur translation. Mais elles ont pr^venu d'elles-memes cette de- 
mande. Je viens de recevoir I'acte de cette donation pour moi et mes 
successeurs, sign6 de toutes les religieuses vocales sans exception — 
P^n^trez-vous bien de tous les articles de cette lettre. Traduisez-la en 
Italien, pour la communiquer a qui de droit, et ne n^gligez aucune de- 
marche pour obtenir tout ce que je demande. 1° 3, au moins 2 Pretres 
de votre Congregation. 2° Suspension de la division de mon Diocese. 
3° Nomination de M.r R. pour mon Coadjuteur, au moins pour mon 
grand Vicaire pour la partie sup^rieure du Diocese avec un titre Epis- 
copal in partibus. 4° R^glement pour la taxation d'un dixieme sur tous 
les revenus provenans du saint Ministere pour la Mense Episcopale de 
la N'lle Orleans. Faites — vous aider en tout cela par votre respectable 
Superieur, que je remercie des avis qu'il m'a donnas sur M.r Inglesi, 
et le renvoi d ucorps du Saint Simpliciiis Martyr. Malheureusement 
le batiment qui I'apportoit a et^ pris par des Corsaires et men^ a Porto- 
Rico. J'^crirai pour recouvrer cette sainte Relique. 5° Je viens d'avoir 
avis de Mr. Sibourd que Mr. Charles Devr. Rome de la Nouv. Orleans 
venoit d'^pouser sa niece Marie Therese Vion, sur une permission de 
la legislature, et qu'il n'avoit pas declare cette circonstance au curd 
(le P. Antoine), qui les a mari^s sans en avoir connoissance. Tachez 
d'obtenir dispense, ou meme au besoin sanationem in radice : car le 
manage est indissoluble au civil. 

Je compte absolument, mon cher ami, sur votre retour pour I'au- 
tomne, si Dieu vous conserve. Ce seroit manquer a tous vos devoirs 
que de nous faire faux bond, et vous auriez sujet de craindre d'avoir 
a en rendre un compte serieux au tribunal de Dieu ; car autant les 
suites de votre d-marche peuvent etre favorables a la Religion, autant 
votre defection lui seroit funeste. 

6° Veuillez exposer aussi que les mariages entre Cousins ger- 
mains etant tres frequens dans ce Diocese, je suis presque a bout des 
cas pour lesquels j'ai la faculte de dispenser. Demandez en consequence 
une extension de cette faculte pour cent cas, si vous pouvez I'obtenir — 
au moins pour cinquante, qui seront bientot uses. Je repute que vous 
devez eviter de vous charger d'aucun autre sujet que les 2 on 3 ci des- 
sus designes pour eviter le frais car je suis fort en dette. 

7° Et k propos de cela, informez S. E. le Cardinal Consalvi que 
j'ai reQu les mille ecus qu'il a charge Mr. Pointer Vic Apost. de Lon- 
dres de me faire passer; mais que je supplie instamment S. E. de 
m'envoyer par la meme voye les autres trois mille ecus, fesant I'appoint 


de 4,000 que Sa Saintet^ a eu la bont(5 de m'accorder, et sur lesquels 
j'ai dii compter pour me lib^rer. J'ai eu I'honneur de lui en ^crire mais 
veuillez en presser I'execution. Car le terme de mes engagemens s'ap- 
proche. Je n' ai que jusqu'au mois d'Octobre de cette ann^e. II est 
done urgent de faire compter cette somme sans d^lai. Elle est destin^e 
a parf aire le payement des 2 f ermes de Florissant et de la Riviere des 
Peres, sur lesquelles doit reposer une grande partie de la mense Epis- 
copale de St. Louis. Je ne demande rien de cela pour le Si^ge qui doit 
me rester. Vous pouvez vous figurer les d^penses que j'ai deja fait 
pour cette partie sup. de mon Diocese, soit au S^minaire ou a St. Louis. 

Soyez extremement prudent dans vos communications. Mais 
n'ayez aucune reserve pour S.E. leCard Pr^f^t et pour votre Superieur. 
Donnez-leur a chacun copie en Italien de toute cette lettre, et si Son 
Em. vous demande I'original, remettez le entre ses mains. 

Allez vous prosterner en mon nom aux pi^s de Sa Saintet^, priez- 
le de me pardonner mes fautes, qui ont 6te I'effet de la surprise. Re- 
merciez le de ses bont^s pour moi et demandez lui Sa benediction 
pour moi et mon troupeau. Je vous donne la mienne de tout mon coeur, 
Mon tr^s cher ami, et je prie Dieu, qu'il envoye son ange pour vous 
accompagner eiintem et redeunttem. 

■^ L. GUiL. Ez\ de la Noiiv. Orleans. 

Tachez de faire, sans d^penses, una gran raccolta de Crocifissi, 
Immagini et corone. Je crois qu'il sera tres sage de prendre un passe- 
port am^ricain. Je vous recommanderois aussi de revenir par New 
York dans la crainte des Pirates, quoique ce soit une augmentation 
de d^penses d'au moins 100 gourdes par personne. Mais le danger 
est trop inqui^tant pour que cette d^pense doive arr^ter pour s'y sous- 
traire, dussiez-vous vous rendre a Philad. par de steamboat, de la par la 
diligence a Wheeling, de la par steamboat a Louisville oh vous en 
trouverez un pour Ste. Genevieve. Je presume que vous serez bien aise 
d'emmener vos Mess, au S^minaire. 

J'approuve votre remplacement par Mr. Acquaroni jusqu'a votre 
retour. J'ai ecrit pour retirer Mr. Pottini au Seminaire, il y a d^ja au 
moins 15 jours; et j'ai pri^ Mr. R. d'envoyer Mr. Rosti a sa place. 
Sous peu j'aurai quelques pretres de plus pour renforcer les postes. 

Priez pour moi, mon ami Mon ame est plong^e dans I'amertume : 
mais mon courage se soutient. Dieu a permis mes fautes pour m'humi- 
lier. Que son Saint nom soit h6ni. S'il vut m'envoyer de nouvelles 
afflictions, aunquelles je m'attens, demandez-lui de soutenir en propor- 
tion mon courage et ma resignation. Mes compliments affectueux a 
vos chers Collegues. 

Je vous r^itere I'assurance de mon resp.x et bien tendre attache- 

•f- L. GUIL. Ev . de la Nouv. Orleans. 

Ayez grand soin de cette lettre. Je crains vos distractions. Gardez- 
la sous clef, et ne manquez pas de I'emporter avec vous dans un porte- 



Washington, February 27, 1823. 
I have just received, my Dear Friend, your letter of January 
21. I approve of your journey; but do not come to look for me here, 
where I shall not be any more. I give you my blessing from afar. Go 
straightway, if you can, to Leghorn, in order to avoid expenses. Here 
is the advice I have to give you. 

1. For your soul, do not forget your spiritual exercises, et in 
omnibus exhihe te sicut Dei ministnim - 

2. In the interest of the Mission, travel incognito, as much as 
you can ; no public collections. 

3. Bring us not priests except two or three good missionaries 
of your Congregation, capable to relieve Father Rosati. You know the 
qualifications they must have: above all a great mansuetude; no rigor- 
ism, and something attractive in their manners. 

4. Make known to the Card. Prefect by what artifices the notor- 
ious Inglesi magnetized me, and Father De Andreis and all, both 
priests and lay people, who knew him here. Say that I acknowledge 
my mistake and deplore it ^ ; and that such is the confusion and the 
sorrow into which this sad disclosure has plunged me, that I have been 
several times tempted to beseech His Holiness permission to retire in 
order that I may bewail this fault ; that the sole fear to see my Diocese 
lost by that request prevented me ; but that if His Eminence deems it 
fit to relieve me of a place, of which I made myself unworthy by such 
a great imprudence, I am ready to resign, and will be most thankful 
to him. 

Whoever speaks to you of this sad affair, have no hesitation to 
disown the wretched impostor, and to depict the sorrow wherein he 
has plunged me. 

5. In the midst of those great subjects of affliction, God has kept 
in store for me extraordinary consolations, which lead me to believe 
that my faults have found mercy before Him, on account of my good 
intention. Do not mention this to anybody in Louisiana, or in Europe, 
save to your Superior * and the Card. Prefect. — The first is the suc- 
cess of my instances with the American Government in regard to the 
establishment of an Indian mission at Council Bluffs, where there is 
a military post made up mostly of Catholics. The Government grants 
$800 yearly for four missionaries; and, it will defray two-thirds of 
the outlay and of the education of the young Indians. It had been my 

2 "In all things exhibit yourself as the minister of God," — an adaptation of 
II Cor. vi, 4. 

3 The eyes of Bishop Du Bourg were finally opened upon the true worth 
of Inglesi at the end of January or the beginning of Fe'bruary 1823. Two 
letters of his to his brother Louis, at Bordeaux, the first dated February 6, and 
the second February 10, express his feelings when doubts had become impossible. 
From the sequel of this letter to Father Borgna, it appears that the communica- 
tions of Father Baccari, Vicar General of the Congr. of the Mission in Rome, 
were very instrumental in removing the scales from the prelate's eyes. 

* Father Baccari, 


intention to give this mission to your Congregation ; but it is and shall 
be yet for a long time too poor in subjects to be able to take it. The 
Jesuits are going to take it ^ : they are giving me for this purpose two 
excellent priests and two lay-brothers to teach catechism. Council 
Bluffs is situated at about a thousand miles from the mouth of the 
Missouri river. The missionaries will start in two or three weeks. — 
The second consolation, which is about the Bishop's establishment in 
New Orleans, is the donation which the Ursuline nuns of that city 
have just made to me of their Convent, Church and dependencies, of 
which I shall enter into possession as soon as they move out. To this 
effect I have obtained from the Government withdrawal of all its 
claims upon that property. You may easily realize all the advantages 
which will accrue to the Bishop from that location. The church alone, 
which, when all the walls and partitions that divide it are pulled down, 
will be a spacious building, shall be for him an invaluable asset. The 
big house affords all the halls necessary for a college. Seminary, etc. 
And you may well imagine that in my plans about this matter, it is 
on your Congregation I am building up my hopes. Here is, therefore, 
for it magnum ostium apertum.^ — Hence I have realized fully how 
necessary it is to strengthen it, by all means, with good subjects capable 
of everything; and in this I have been successful beyond my most 
sanguine hopes: and this is my third cause of consolation. I have 
good reasons to believe that before six months, it will receive an in- 
crease of at least five or six, perhaps even ten, subjects, nearly all com- 
pletely trained, with a good command of English and French, and 
having read part of their Theology. Divine Providence brought me 
here to discover a veritable mine. In order that these words may not 
be a puzzle to you and your Superiors, here is in plain and clear lan- 
guage what I mean. The Jesuits, being overburdened by an enormous 
debt which obliges them to stop every expenditure, have determined 
to dissolve their Noviciate, which is made up of seven Flemish sub- 
jects,^ some of whom are quite remarkable; and they have proposed 
to me to take over those, who, unable to join their Society, would be 
willing to enter your own. They offer to pay transportation expenses. 

5 We must conclude from this that the acceptance of the Indian Missions 
by the Jesuits in the Diocese of Bishop Du Bourg was previous to, and therefore 
independent from even the first thought of transferring the Noviciate from 
White Marsh to Florissant. This transfer came as a happy afterthought, virhich 
preserved for the Order a number of talented and very efficient subjects : we 
may say it followed soon after the writing of this letter, and probably as a of thp visit to White Marsh which the prelate intended to make shortly: 
the Indian Missions had been accepted already, and the personnel, "two ex- 
cellent priests and two lay-brothers," apparently already designated. We should 
not be surprised, though, that the "two excellent priests" and the two brothers 
designated were no other than those who actually came. Fathers Van Quicken- 
borne and Timmermans, and Brothers De Meyer and Rysselman; for no 
doubt but that the closing of White Marsh was an affair decided some time 
since by Father Neale. 

^ A great door opened." I Cor, xvi, 9 . 

^ Jodocus Francis Van Asshe. Peter J. Verhaegen, John B. Elet, John B. 
Smedts, Peter J. De Smet, Felix L. Verreydt De Maillet. 


I am going tomorrow, or the day after, to visit the Noviciate and pick 
out three or four of the best. There is in another quarter a priest, fifty 
years old, very talented and having much experience in spiritual di- 
rection and teaching, who communicated to me his desire to join your 
Society in company with two or four excellent young ecclesiastics 
formed by him to virtue and science, all quite well on in their Theo- 
logy^. This latter project is not yet as well assured as the former; yet 
I believe that it will be realized. Moreover, a few good subjects of my 
Diocese, some priests, some others seminarians, besides those who 
have already broached the matter with Father Rosati, are probably 
disposed to join also ^. — The above details will convince your Superiors 
of the importance of this establishment, and of the necessity to make 
a supreme sacrifice in men of merit to strengthen it. 

6. Ask your Superior to communicate to you the letters which 

8 Who that priest was is a matter of conjecture. The details given by 
Bishop Du Bourg do not permit us, however, to go very far afield. The priest 
in question had "formed to virtue and science" the two or four excellent eccle- 
siastics mentioned with him are possible recruits for the LazaristCommunity. Now 
in letters written some time before to Father Rosati, Bisoup Dti Bourg announced 
the following news: "Two excellent subjects, well on in their theology" (just the 
expression used in our letter to Borgna), are asking to be transferred to my 
Diocese and to be received in your Congregation. The one, a nephew of the 
late Bishop Egan, of Philadelphia, has been raised from early youth in the 
Seminary of Emmitsburg. . . He proposes another subject, an Irishman... full 
of humility, talent and knowledge, who is free to chose his own Diocese : his 
name is Purcell."( December 6, 1822) These two students of Mount St. Mary's 
are quite well known: the one was Michael D. Egan, who was president of 
the institution from 1826 to 1828; the other, John Purcell, the future Archbishop 
of Cincinnati. If Bishop Du Bourg meant to speak of these same young eccle- 
siastics — and this seems to be the case — we are bidden to look for the priest 
"fifty years old, very talented and endowed with much experience in spiritual 
direction and teaching" among those associated with Mount St. Mary's, Emmits- 
burg. This restricts considerably the field of research, for in 1822 — 1823, the 
teaching staff of Mount St. Mary's, besides several young men who were at the 
same time studying theology, included only Father Dubois, the President, and 
Father Brute. Father Dubois was just sixty and, therefore, is out of the ques- 
tion. Bishop Du Bourg was very anxious to have Father Brute come west, as 
we learn from a letter dated St. Louis, July 6, 1822 (Catholic Archives of Am- 
erica, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, Case: Archbishops and Bishops of 
New Orleans) : "O ! would that I could see you at the head of this great under- 
taking" (the Indian Mission in Missouri) ! "I had requested Father Anduze 
to write to you about it. Your reply does not make me lose all hope. That reply 
was prudent. It was advisable, indeed, that you should wait until 1 were more 
explicit with you. You will answer now as your heart dictates. We shall, 
moreover, have occasion to converse os ad os... O God! what a beautiful 
harvest ! Send us, then, laborers worthy to gather it. I believe you are called 
to this work, my dearest brother, and, pray God to manifest to you his holy 
will, and am assured of your fidelity and promptness to fulfill it." We know 
that Bishop Du Bourg had put Father Brute an his list of desirable candidates 
for the Coadjutorship. Of course, if our surmise be right, the subject of going 
west was discussed between the prelate and the professor of Mount St. Mary's 
during the former's sojourn in Maryland. At any rate none of his expectations 
of bringing from the East new recruits for the Congregation of the Mission 
eventually materialized. 

^ Among the priests, may be mentioned Fathers Anduze and Michael Portier, 
as we learn from various letters of Du Bourg to Rosati. 


I sent him for Propaganda ^'\ with the request to take good care, 
and hasten the consideration of the petitions they contain. One of these 
is dealing with the suspension of the division of the Diocese. You know 
as well as I do that dividing it now would spell the ruin of at least 
the Upper portion. I have requested a delay of three years before I 
can consent to this division. You will find no difficulty in making the 
Card. Prefect understand how necessary it is to grant this request, 
which evidently, far from being inspired by personal interest, means 
for me only an increase of most grievous cares. At all events New 
Orleans is the place where I would establish the headquarters of the 
Diocese, and the title of my See. You may be asked why I did not do 
it sooner. You know very well my reasons ; and God permitted that 
these reasons should be in the way to place me in a condition that en- 
abled me to prepare in Missouri and the Upper quarters the way for 
the erection of an Episcopal See, which otherwise could never have 
been established there, and without which Religion would have surely 
perished in that immense quarter that opens before the most sober 
imagination the most interesting vista. — My second request was that 
Father Rosati be given me as Coadjutor, and that at the same time 
he remain as the head of your company until a worthy substitute may 
replace him in this office. As the Diocese cannot be divided for yet a 
long time, you may realize from your own experience that I need 
absolutely a Coadjutor in the meantime; for the Bishop's absence is 
the worst evil for the one as well as for the other portion of the 
Diocese, and he cannot be in both places at the same time. Thus my 
Coadjutor would reside in the Seminary, and from there would go 
from time to time to visit St. Louis and the other parishes. If, when 
everything is ready for the creation of the See of vSt. Louis, they wish 
to appoint there Father Rosati, I shall certainly make no objection. 
After all if they are afraid to give him the title of Coadjutor, let them 
make him Bishop in partihus, and my Vicar General for the whole of 
Upper Louisiana, as was done recently for the Bishop of Quebec. Work 
also for that. — Finally my third petition was that Propaganda should 
provide for the endowment of the See of New Orleans, by making 
detailed regulations obliging the Priests employed in the holy Ministry 
to pay to the Bishop the tithe of their revenues, both fixed and even- 
tual, except in the case of impossibility, of which the Bishop shall be 
judge. You know that the Bishop has absolutely nothing, save what 
our good Ursuline nuns are pleased to give him — a most precarious 
pittance, utterly insufficient for his pressing needs and his manifold 
burdens , whereas most of the priests enjoy a goodly income. Accord- 
ing to this plan providing for a tax of one-tenth, each one would con- 
tribute in proportion with his means. Very few are those who cannot 
easily save one-tenth of their income. I had also asked that the Ursu- 
lines be induced to hand over to the Bishop their Convent, when they 
were to move. But they anticipated this petition. I have just received 

10 The letters in question were, as we learn from the explanations given 
hereafter, those of October i, and of December 6, 1822. 


the Deed of this donation signed by every single one of the nuns 
having right to vote. 

Make yourself thoroughly conversant with each one of the articles 
of this letter. Translate it into Italian, that you may communicate it to 
mhovi it may concern, and leave no efforts untried to get what I am 
asking for: 1° Three, or at least two Priests of your Congregation 
2° Putting off the Division of my Diocese. 3° Appointment of Father 
Rosati as my Coadjutor, or at least as my Vicar General for the Upper 
part of the Diocese with the title of Bishop in partibus. 4° Regulation 
for a tax of one-tenth on all the revenues accrueing from the holy 
ministry for the support of the Bishop of New Orleans. Enlist for 
all this the co-operation of your respectable Superior, whom I thank 
for the information he gave me about Fr. Inglesi, and for sending the 
body of St. Simplicius, Martyr. Unfortunately the vessel which brought 
it was captured by corsairs and taken to Porto-Rico. I shall write to 
recover this holy Relic. — I have presently received advice from Father 
Sibourd that Mr. Charles D. Rome, of New Orleans had just married 
his niece Marie Therese Vion with the permission of the legislature, 
and that he did not manifest this circumstance to the pastor (Father 
Anthony), who married them without knowing it. Try to get the dis- 
pensation, or even, if needs be, the sanatio in radice: for the marriage, 
before the civil law, is indissoluble. — I reckon absolutely, My Dear 
Friend, on your coming back for the fall, if God preserves you. To 
fail us would be a breach of duty, and you would have reason to fear 
that you have to give a serious account of that before the tribunal of 
God : for your failure would be as harmful to Religion as the con- 
sequences of your journey may prove beneficial to it. — 6° Please 
represent also that marriages between first cousins being very frequent 
in this Diocese, I have almost exhausted the number of cases for which 
I was empowered to dispense. Ask, therefore, an extension of this 
faculty for a hundred cases, if you can obtain it, or at least for fifty, 
which will be soon exhausted. I repeat that you must avoid accepting 
any other subjects but the two or three mentioned above, to cut down 
expenses, for I am deeply in debt. — 7° And in this connection inform 
His Eminence Card. Consalvi that I received the thousand scudi which 
he commissioned Mr. Poynter, Vicar Apostolic of London, to forward 
to me ; but that I beseech earnestly his Eminence to send me through 
the same channel the other three thousand scudi, completing the 4,000. 
which His Holiness kindly granted me, and on which I have been 
reckoning to extricate me from debt. I had the honor of writing to him 
about it, but please push the speedy execution of this affair. For my 
notes are coming near to maturity : I have only now until next October. 
It is urgent, therefore, that this money should be forwarded to me with- 
out delay. It is destined to complete the payment for the two farms 
of Florissant and of the River des Peres, on which in great part will 
rest the support of the Episcopal See of St. Louis. I ask nothing of that 
for the See which is to remain to me. You may figure out the ex- 
penses I have already incurred for that Upper portion of my Diocese, 
either at the Seminary or in St. Louis. 


Be extremely cautious in your communications. But have no 
reticence with His Eminence the Card. Prefect and your Superior. 
Give them both a copy in Italian of all this letter, and if His Eminence 
asks for the original hand it to him. 

Go and prostrate yourself in my name at the feet of His Holiness ; 
beg him to pardon me my faults, which were caused by surprise. Thank 
him for his marks of kindness towards me, and ask his blessing for 
myself and my flock. I give you my own blessing with all my heart, 
My very Dear Friend, and pray God to send His holy Angel to accom- 
pany you euntem et redeuntem. ^^ 

4- L. WM. Bp. of New Orleans. 

Try to get, without expense, una gran recollta de crocefissi, Im- 
magini e corone?- I think it will be wise for you to get an American 
passport. I would recommend also that you come back by way of New 
York, for fear of Pirates, although this may mean an increase of ex- 
penses of at least one hundred dollars per person. But the danger is 
so serious that this expense must not stop you, in order that you may 
be safe, should you have to go to Philadelphia by steamboat, hence to 
Wheeling by stage, thence again by steamboat to Louisville, where you 
will find another for Ste. Genevieve. I suppose that you will be glad to 
take yourself your gentlemen to the Seminary. 

I approve of Fr. Acquaroni taking your place until you are back ^^ 
I wrote a fortnight ago, at least, to have Father Potini recalled ^* to 
the Seminary ; and I asked Fr. Rosati to send Fr. Rosti in his stead. 
Before long I shall have a few more priests to reinforce the parishes. 

Pray for me. Dear Friend. My soul is plunged in bitterness ; still 
I keep up courage. God permitted my faults to humble me : blessed 
be His Holy Name. If he wishes to send me new afflictions, which I 
am expecting, ask him to uphold my courage and resignation accord- 
ingly. My affectionate compliments to your dear colleagues. 

I renew here the assurance of my respectful and most tender at- 

4- L. wM., Bp. of New Orleans. 

Take good care of this letter. I am afraid of your distractions. 
Keep it under lock and key, and do not fail to take it along in a wallet. 

1^ "Going and coming back." 

12 "A great supply of crucifixes, holy pictures and rosaries." 

13 Father J. B. Acquaroni was then temporarily stationed at St. Michael's, 

1* The letter in question, to Father Rosati, was written from Washington, 
D. C, on February 6, 1823 : "Few are the letters from La Fourche which do not 
give me an occasion to regret that I sent Fr. Potini there. This young man 
lacks decorum and docility, and you would do me a great pleasure if you 

took him from there and send Fr. Rosti instead Kindly write to him, 

without mentioning my name, that you request him to come up to the Seminary 
to make his retreat, that you think it necessary he should come to enjoy the 
home atmosphere, and that you are sending Fr. Rosti to take his place during 
his absence." (Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery). 





Eminentissime Praefecte, 

Priusquam ad Dioecesim meam, permittente jam aeris et viarum 
conditione, iter rursus aggrediar, aequum est ut de ratio- 
nibus quae me hue duxerunt doceam, simulque de pluribus negotiis 
quae ad majorem Dei gloriam hie feHciter concludere mihi datum est, 
paucis certiorem faciam. 

1° Moniales S.tae Ursulae, Novae Aureliae, octoginta et amplius 
abhinc annis, a Regimine Gallico, cui tunc Louisiana suberat, dono 
acceperant certam quantitatem soli, in medio Civitatis, in quo subinde 
munificentia Christianissimi Regis Lud.i XV amplum exstructum est 
Monasterium. Duobus autem retro annis, syngraphico errore contigit, 
ut Gubernium Americanum, tertiam circiter hujus possessionis partem 
tanquam suam vindicaret ; licetque pluries scripto a Monialibus f uisset 
reclamatum, nullam jurium suorum recognitionem acceperant. Consi- 
Ho igitur jurisperitorum ad banc generalis Regiminis arcem devenire 
operae pretium duxi, ut quod litteris expediri non potuerat, vivae vocis 
argumentis explicare conarer. Est siquidem solum illud tanti valoris 
ut nihil ad restitutionem ejus procurandam omittendum judicarem. 
Quod, juvante Deo, mihi optime cessit. 

2° Ad haec, cum, amplificata et in dies crescente Neo-Aurelia- 
nensi civitate, coactae fuissent Moniales sinere ut per clausuram suam 
duo ducerentur vici publici, quo ita coarctatum evasit Monasterii sep- 
tum, ut sine magno convenientiae et valetutinis detrimento in eo longius 
degere, attento illius climatis ardore, magnoque numero familiarum, 
turn Religiosarum, cum educandarum et ancillarum, vix possent ; 
ideoque a me veniam postularent aliud Monasterium in apertiori, longe- 
que salubriori loco aedificandi ; Timens ipse ne, quoniam a priori 
Gubernio possessionem banc, speciali fini applicandam, gratis accepe- 
rant, si quando illam desererent, Regimen Americanum eam in integ- 
rum sibi jure arrogaret, necessarium duxi, priusquam Monialium preci- 
bus obtemperarem, politici regiminis consensum ad translationem, et 
aonationis confirmationem solicitare. Quod utrumque ipsis, me pos- 
tulante, benignissime concessum est. 

3° Hoc ubi resciverunt gratae Moniales, propria sponte mihi et 
successoribus meis in Sede Neo-Aurelianensi dono dederunt aedificia 
quae nunc occupant, Monasterium sciHcet, cum suis dependentiis, et 
satis amplam ecclesiam, in meam possessionem deventura statim atque 
novum, quod jam molitae sunt, Monasterium ingressae fuerint. Haec 
tandem erit solidissima Sedis Neo-Aurelianensis fundatio, cui si 
addatur decima pars proventuum omnium Sacerdotalium, de quo jam 

1 Original in Archives of Propaganda. Scrittiirc Rcferite nei Congrcssi. 
Codice 8. America Centrale. Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama. Dal 1823 a tto 
il 1826. 


in antecedentibus epistolis Sacram Cong.em allocutus sum, nihil amplius 
deerit quot dignitati et independentiae illius sit necessarium. 

4° Ad fovendas catholicas missiones inter numerosas tribus indi- 
genas, quae juxta oras Missouri fluminis longe lateque vagantur, ob- 
tinui quoque a Gubernio annuum octingentorum nummorum subsidium 
cum promissione progressivi augmenti, et addita insinuatione, gratum 
Regimini fore, si Patres Societatis Jesu missiones illas aggrederentur, 
quippe cum omnibus notum esset, quam feliciter olim, in variis orbis 
partibus, in sylvicolarum institutione insudaverint adhuc quod inter 
Missourii populos tenerrimam superesse eorum memoriam. Notatu 
certe dignum mihi visum est, quod heterodoxorum Procerum de hac 
re sententia tam apprime concordet cum judicio SS.mi N.i qui 
cum a me, dum Romae essem, audivisset relationem status meae Dioe- 
ceseos, statim prophetica voce subjunxit : Adjimge iihi Patres Socie- 
tatis, quorum perutilem in illis Missionibus experieris operant . 

5° Divina autem Providentia contigit ut eodem temporis articulo 
superior Societatis Jesu in Marylandia, numero sociorum et aere alie- 
no gravissime pressus, serio cogitaret de minuendis quocumque mode 
provinciae istius oneribus. Statim igitur atque audivit de longinquis 
illis Missionibus nee non et de politici regiminis voto, mihi obtulit duos 
e suis Patribus, septemque juniores cum aliquot coadjutoribus, ad eri- 
gendum circa ripas Missourii Seminarium, in quod illarum cura devoN 
veret. Scit Em.a V.a quantum per septem annos laboraverim ut Socie- 
tatem Jesu allicerem, firmissime persuasus me vix alio modo opem un- 
quam afferre valiturum turn infidelibus sylvicolis, turn numerosissimis 
illis colonorum turmis, qui ad Missourii ripas ex variis Foederatae 
Americae partibus indesinenter confluunt. Facile igitur judicabit Em.a 
V.a gratissimam auribus meis fuisse hujusmodi propositionem. Ad 
consolidandam vero illam fundationem, nee non ad praecavenda mala 
quae in posterum ex variis collisionibus oriri possint, necessarium duxi 
Concordatum cum Societate inire, cujus exemplaria duo nunc Sacrae et Patris Generalis judicio remittuntur. 

Post paucos dies itineri se accingent praedicti Missionarii, quibus 
Ego ut viam sternam. protinus Ludovicum redibo, inde Novam 
Aureliam, parvo temporis intervallo, descensurus. 

Cum summa reverentia me profiteor Vestrae 
Baltimori, martii 29, 1823 

Humill. et obseq. famulum 

+ LuD. GuiL. Ep. N<;o Aurel. 
Em. Cardinali Praefecto 
Sac. Congr. de Propaganda Fide. 

My Lord Cardinal : — 

Before setting out for my Diocese, now that the weather and the 
condition of the roads make travelling possible, it is meet that I should 
set forth the reasons which brought me here, and that I should briefly 


mform Your Eminence of several affairs which I have happily settled 
here ad majorem Dei gloriam. 

1° The Ursulines of New Orleans had been given, over eighty 
years ago by the French Government, to which Louisiana then be- 
longed, a tract of land in the midst of the City, on which later on, 
thanks to the munificence of the Most Christian King, Louis XV, they 
had built a large Monastery. Two years ago, however, as a conse- 
quence of a clerical error in the deed, the American Government 
claimed back one-third of the property. Although several times the 
nuns entered a reclamation in writing, their claim received no acknowl- 
edgement. I was advised, therefore, by the lawyers to come to the seat 
of the Federal government, and thought it my duty to do so, in order 
to discuss the matter viva voce, since no headway could be made by let- 
ters. This piece of property, indeed, is so valuable that I deemed that 
no effort should be spared to have this wrong righted. And, God help- 
ing, I have been successful. 

2° Moreover, as the city of New Orleans is daily growing, the 
Nuns were forced to let two streets be pierced through their premises ; 
this so reduced the private grounds of the Monastery, that the Nuns 
could remain there no longer without great inconvenience and detri- 
ment to their health, owing to the warm climate, and the numbers of 
the inmates. Nuns, pupils and maids. They, therefore, asked me to 
build another Monastery in less cramped and much more healthy quar- 
ters. However, I was afraid that, as they had been given this prop- 
erty by a former Government for a special purpose, if they left it, the 
American Government would claim it all back. For this reason I 
deemed it necessary, before granting the Nuns' request, to solicit 
the Government's consent to the transfer and the confirmation of the 
donation. Both petitions were, at my request, graciously granted. 

3° When the Nuns got word of that, in their gratefulness they 
spontaneously made donation to me and my successors in the See of 
New Orleans, of the buildings which they now occupy, namely the 
Monastery with its outbuildings, and quite a large church. I shall 
enter into possession as soon as they move to the New Monastery, 
which is already started. This will at last put the See of New Orleans 
on a most solid footing ; and if, to this is added the tax of ten per cent 
on all the parochial revenues, of which I spoke in some of my previous 
letters to the S. Congregation, nothing more will be desired for the 
dignity and independence of this See. 

4° To develop Catholic Missions among the many Indian tribes 
which roam far and wide along the banks of the Missouri river, I have 
likewise obtained from the Government an annual subsidy of eight 
hundred dollars, with promise of an increase in proportion to the 
development of the work ; and a hint was given me that the Govern- 
ment would be pleased to see the Fathers of the Society of Jesus take 
up these missions ; for everybody knows what success in the past 
rewarded their labors for the civization of the savages in various parts 
of the world, and that a tender remembrance of them has survived 
among the Missouri nations. It appeared to me quite a remarkable 


coincidence that the opinion of our Protestant Government men echoes 
so well that of His Holiness : for, when I was in Rome and described 
to him the condition of my Diocese, he at once, as moved by the spirit 
of prophecy, added : "Get the Fathers of the Society ; you will find 
their work most useful in those Missions." 

5° Now, by a stroke of Divine Providence, it happened that just 
at that time, the Superior of the Society of Jesus in Maryland, over- 
burdened by the number of his men and by debts, was thinking serious- 
ly of lightening, by any means, the burden of that Province. No sooner 
had he heard of these far away Missions, and of the wishes of the 
Government, than he offered me two of his Fathers, with seven young 
men and a few lay Brothers, to start on the banks of the Missouri a 
Seminary, that would take charge of these Missions.- Your Eminence 
is well, aware of the efforts which I had made for seven years, in order 
to bring over the Society of Jesus,^ as I was all along firmly convinced 
that this was for me the only means that could enable me to help not 
only the infidel Savages, but also the numerous bands of farmers who 
are unceasingly moving to the banks of the Missouri from various 
parts of the United States. Your Eminence may then easily realize 
how pleasant to my ears was this proposal. However, to consolidate 
this foundation, and forestall all evils which might arise later on from 

2 This transaction, which meant so much for the future Diocese of St. Louis, 
is rehearsed full length in the above-given letter to Father Borgna. Two weeks 
later Bishop Du Bourg wrote, from Georgetown to his brother Bordeaux : 
"For such an undertaking [the Indian Missions], I needed men having a vocation 
for this function; and I had almost given up the hope of ever iinding any, when 
God, in His infinite goodness, brought about one of these incidents of which He 
alone can calculate and direct the consequences. The Jesuits of whom I am 
speaking to you had their establishment in Maryland, and finding themselves in 
extremely straitened circumstances, were on the point of suppressing their No- 
viciate, when I obtained this pecuniary encouragement from the Government 
[$20O. a year for each of the four Missionaries who were to work among the 
Indians]. They seized this occasion, and offered me the whole Noviciate, Mas- 
ters and Novices, to take them over to Upper Louisiana and start there a nursery 
of Indian Missionaries. Had 1 been given the choice, I could not have desired 
anything better. Seven young men, all from Flanders, filled with talent and the 
spirit of St. Francis Xavier, already well on in their studies, ranging from 
twenty-two to twenty-seven years of age, with their two excellent Masters and 
a few brothers: that is what Providence has at last granted me." {Annalcs dc la 
Propagation dc la Foi, tome I, fasc. 5, p. 38). How the heroic little band "with- 
out purse and scrip," came on foot from Whitemarsh, Md., to Florissant, and 
accommodated themselves to the poor and narrow log-house which awaited 
them, is graphically told in a later letter of the Bishop. The contract with the 
Rev. Charles Neale, Superior of the Jesuit Mission of Maryland, was signed on 
March 19, 1823. For the beginnings of the Florissant house, see Rev. Gilbert J. 
Garraghan, S.J., St. Regis Seminary — First Catholic Indian School, in The 
Catholic Historical Reviczv, January 1919, p. 453 foil. 

3 Already in a letter to Cardinal Fontana, dated February 24, 1821 (Review, 
Vol. II, p. 136), Bishop Du Bourg remarked: "For some time past I have been 
thinking, for this paramount work of charity [the Indian missions], of the Fa- 
thers of the Society of Jesus, and have left no stone unturned in order to secure 
some of them. In this regard I was greatly aided by His Holiness, who went 
so far as to write to the Superior General with a view to indorye my wishes. 
But hitherto our efforts have proved unsuccessful." 


various misunderstandings, I have deemed it necessary to make 
a Contract with the Society:* herewith are two copies of this Contract, 
submitted to the judgment of the S. Congregation and of the Father 

These Missionaries are going to set out in a few days. To pave the 
way for their coming I am going forthwith to St. Louis ; whence, 
shortly after, I will go down to New Orleans. 
With the most profound respect I sign myself 
Your Eminence's 

Most humble and obedient Servant 

+ Louis Wm., Bp. of New Orl. 
Baltimore, March 29, 1823. 


No. 29 

Illme ac Rme Domine 

Satis comperta esse arbitror Tuae magna dissidia, et 
contentiones, quae Philadelphiae jamdiu excitatae sunt aedituorum 
causa, ac praesertim contumacis Presbyteri Hogan, qui, spreta Epis- 
copi autoritate, ejusque censuris, Parochialia munera exercet, et cathe- 
dralem Ecclesiam, ejecto Episcopo, invasit, quo factum est, ut Summus 
Pontifex ilium a fidelium communione secreverit. Donee aeditui 
potestatem, quae Episcoporum est, in Ecclesiis sibi arrogaverint, nun- 
quam fore sperandum est, ut ordo, et pax reflorescat.Quamobrem Rmus 
Dnus Conwell Philadelphiensis Episcopus ad tot, ac tantas perturba- 
tiones vitandas censet, non aliam posse reperiri viam, quam nova aedi- 
ficanda Ecclesia, quae ab aedituis nullo pacto dependeat. Verum sub- 
sidia desunt, quibus tam salutare opus perfici possit, neque a Phila- 
delphiensibus ea quaerenda esse arbitratur, ne aeditui constituantur, 
qui jus in Ecclesiam sibi vindicent. Quare consilium cepit implorandi 
pietatem, ac studium aliorum Episcoporum, qui erogatam a Fidelibus 
sibi subjectis opem ad novam exstruendam Philadelphiae Ecclesiam 
benigne conferre velint. Cum agatur de domo Dei, reparandisque 
scandalis, quae Ecclesiam illam misere angunt ; plurimum sanecom- 
mendanda erit Catholicorum Antistitum sollicitudo, si curam, operam- 
que suam in re tam sancta sint'praestituri. Quare dum fore confido, 
ut Ampd.o Tua pro ea, qua fervet, charitate piis Philadelphiae votis 
libenter obsequi velit, D.O.M. precor, ut eamdem diutissime servet, ac 

Ampd.nis Tuae 
Romae ex Aedibus S. Congnis de Propda Fide Die 19 Aprilis 1823 
Uti Frater studiosissimus 

H. Card, consalvi Pro-Praef. 
Petrus Caprano Iconiensis Secret. us 

* The original of this contract, written by Bishop Du Bourg's own hand, 
and signed by him and by Father Charles Neale, S.J., is in the Archives of the 
Archdioc. Chancery of St. Louis. 

1 Original in Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. 


Right Reverend Sir: — 

Your Lordship is, I suppose, well aware of the great troubles, 
and of the disputes which have been rife for some time back in Phila- 
delphia," and are due to the Trustees, and, still more, to the contumacy 
of Father Hogan, who, in defiance of the Bishop's authority and cen- 
sures, exercises the pastoral ministry in, and has possessed himself of, 
the Cathedral, from which the Bishop was ejected: all which obliged 
the Sovereign Pontiflf to excommunicate him. As long as the Trustees 
arrogate to themselves over the Church the power which belongs to the 
Bishops, there can be no hope to see order and peace flourish again. 
For this cause, the Right Rev. Conwell, Bishop of Philadelphia, thinks 
that, in order to prevent many and grave disturbances, there can be 
no other way than to build a new church free from any dependence on 
Trustees. But the money necessary to carry out this excellent plan 
is lacking, and the prelate does not deem it expedient to get it from 
the people of Philadelphia, for fear that a Board of Trustees be con- 
stituted who would claim rights over the church. He therefore repolved 
to beseech from the piety and zeal of the other Bishops that the latter 
ask contributions from the faithful of their Dioceses and kindly for- 
ward these contributions to him for the building of that new church 
in Philadelphia. As it is question of the house of God, and of repair- 
ing the scandals which afflict that Diocese, the Catholic prelates will 
do a thing most worthy of praise, if they lend their help in behalf of 
so holy a cause. Trusting, then, that Your Lordship's well known 
charity will readily fulfil the pious wishes of the Bishop of Phila- 
delphia, I pray Almighty God, to grant you length of days and health. 

Your Lordship's 

Most devoted brother 

H. Card, consalvi, Pro-Pref. 
Rome, Palace of the S. Congreg. of Propaganda, April 19, 1823. 
Peter Caprano, Archbp. of Iconium, Secretary. 


No. 30 

Illme, ac Rme Dne. 

Adjectum huic meae epistolae Amplitudo Tua accipiet Breve 
Apostolicum quod Litteris diei 5. Julii me quamprimum ad Te missu- 
rum promiseram. Cognosces ex eo SSmum Dominum N.rum revocasse, 
ac abrogasse Litteras Apostolicas diei 13. Augusti 1822, quibus Ala- 
bamae, et Mississippi Status R. P. D. Joseph© Rosati Electo Episcopo 

2 On the Schism of Philadelphia, see John G. Shea, History of the Catholic 
Church in the United States, Vol. Ill, p. 224 and foil. — A whole volume, the 5th 
(should be properly Vol. 6), and part of another, the 7th of the Scritture Re- 
ferite nei Congressi, in the Archives of Propaganda, are made up of the docu- 
ments referring to this Schism of Philadelphia. 

1 Original in Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. 


Tenagrensi tanquam Vicario Apostolico administandi committebantur, 
itemque illas 21. Januarii 1823, quibus Floridae Vicariatui illi adjunge- 
bantur. Erit Tibi praeterea pergratum eumdem Electum Tenagrensem 
Episcopum Amplitudini Tuae Coadjutorem destinari. Intelliges tandem 
Luisianam totam etiam de Sanctitatis Suae sententia intra triennium 
in duas Dioeceses esse dividendam, quaeque respiciunt ejusdem R. P. 
D. Rosati siiccessionem. Restat nunc, ut donee aliud a Sancta Sede 
constituatur, res omnes eo loco considerentur restitutae quo erant ante 
diem 13. Augusti 1822. ac 21. Januarii 1823,. ita scilicet, ut Alabamae, 
et Mississippi Statuum iterum Archiepiscopus Baltimorensis spiritualem 
curam gerat, illamque per Te tanquam per suum Vicarium Generalem 
prosequatur exercere, Tibique iterum subjectae Floridae censeantur. 
Rebus ita compositis confido fore ut animo tranquillo esse possis, et 
propter illud, quo praestas animarum salutis procurandae studium, 
novos quotidie apud vos faciat Religio progressus. Precor interea 
Deum, ut Amplitudinem Tuam diu sospitem, ac felicem servet 

Amplitudinis Tuae ' 

Romae ex Aedibus S. Congnis de Propaganda Fide die 19. Julii 1823 
Uti Frater studiosissimus 

H. Card, consalvi Pro-Praef. 
R. P. D. Ludovico Gullielmo Du-bourg 
Novae Aureliae Episcopo S. Ludovicum 

Petrus Caprano Iconien. 

Right Rev. Sir:— 

Your Lordship will find herewith enclosed the Apostolic Brief 
which I promised, in my letter of July 5,^ to send you without delay. 
You will see by it that the Holy Father has revoked and abrogated 
the Apostolic Letter of August 13, 1822, whereby the States of Ala- 
bama and Mississippi were confided to the administration of Rev. 
Joseph Rosati, Bishop-Elect of Tenagra, as Vicar Apostolic; also the 
letter of January 21, 1823, whereby the Floridas were added to that 
Vicariate. You will be pleased, moreover, to see that the same Bishop- 

2 This letter of Card. Consalvi, dated July 5, 1823, is not extant, and it may 
be safely asserted that it was not an official letter of Propaganda, but rather a 
private note of the Cardinal to acquaint Bishop Du Bourg with the results of 
the meeting of Propaganda held on June 9. We give here a copy of the minutes 
of this interesting meeting, as they are found in the Register of the Atti di Con- 
gregasione for 1823. 

"doubts : 

I. Whether the Congregation should adopt the instance of Bp. Du Bourg 
to the effect, namely, of revoking the Decree and the Brief whereby Father 
Rosati was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Mississippi and Alabama? 

II. If so, whether he should be made Coadjutor to Bishop Du Bourg? 

III. Whether a Bishopric should be established in Florida, to which Ala- 
bama is to be joined? And if so, 

IV. Who ought to be appointed there, whether Father Enoch Fenwick or 
Father Simon Brute? 

V. What consideration should be given to the project of the Archbishop of 


Elect of Tenagra is appointed your Coadjutor. Finally the same Brief 
will inform you that, likewise by decision of His Holiness, the whole 
of Louisiana is to be divided within three years, into two Dioceses ; 
and also of what concerns the Rev. Rosati's right of Succession. On 
the whole, then, until the Holy See makes new provisions, everything 
is to be understood to stand as it did before August 13, 1822, and 
January 21, 1823; that is: the States of Alabama and Mississippi are 
again under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Baltimore, 
who will continue to exercise this jurisdiction through you as his Vicar 
General ; the Floridas likewise are returned to your own jurisdiction. 
This arrangement will, I trust, remove your anxieties so that your zeal 
for the salvation of souls may daily work out new conquests for Re- 
ligion. Meanwhile I pray God for your Lordship's continuance in 
good health and happiness. 

Your Lordship's Most devoted brother 

H. Card, consalvi Pro Prefect. 
Rome Palace of the S. Congr. of Propaganda, July 19, 1823. 
To the Right Rev. Louis William Du Bourg, 
Bishop of New Orleans. St. Louis. 

Peter Caprano, Archb. of Iconium, Secretary. 

Baltimore in regard to Mississippi and Alabama, if Father Rosati is made Co- 
adjutor of Bp. Du Bourg? 

VI. And what consideration to the other project of Bishop Flaget, namely 
that Alabama be given to administer to the Bishop of Carolina, and Mississippi 
to that of New Orleans? 


To I. Yes, with a restriction. The restriction is, that the S. Congregation 
deems it necessary that Louisiana be divided within three years into two Dio- 
ceses, St. Louis and New Orleans being made respectively the Episcopal Sees. 

To n. Yes, with a restriction. The restriction is, that it is decided that 
Father Rosati is designated to be the Bishop of one of the two Episcopal Sees 
of Louisiana. 

To in. Yes qualified. The qualification is that the State of Alabama, to- 
gether with that of Mississippi, should be administered by a Vicar Apostolic, 
until it has been seen definitely where the Episcopal See is to be established. 

To IV. Answer deferred ; and upon both of them, or even upon others, if 
there be other likely candidates, accurate informations, and reasons why the one 
should be preferred rather than the other as Vicar Apostolic with Episcopal 
dignity, should be asked from the Archbishop of Baltimore and from the Nuncio 
in Paris. 

To V. Provided for above. 

To VI. Sufficiently provided for. 

J. Card. Fesch, Ponens. 

In the audience of June 22, 1823, petition was made for the repeal of the 
Brief whereby Father Rosati had been appointed Vicar Apostolic of Mississippi 
and Alabama, also of the other whereby Florida was added to the same Vicariate 
Apostolic. Petition was made likewise about the appointment of Father Rosati 
as Coadjutor of Bishop Du Bourg. 

Decree issued and letters written to Bishop Du Bourg and to Father Rosati 
on July s, 1823." 



Secretary of Propaganda 
Illme, ac Rme Dne Dne Pne Colme 

SSmus Dominus Noster Leo PP. XII. edidit Bullam indictionis 
Anni Sancti, itemque in sua ad Summum Pontificatum exaltatione 
Encyclicam Epistolam ad omnes Patriarchas, Primates, Archiepiscopos, 
Episcopos &c. &c. Utramque ad Amplitudinem Tuam mittendam con- 
tinuo curavi, turn quod sciam tibi gratum futurum ipsam anni Jubilaei 
Bullam legere, tum etiam quod pro tua erga Sedem Apostolicam 
veneratione summaque pietate, qua praestas intelligam tibi jucundis- 
simum fore Petrum per Leonem Episcopos alloquentem iterum audire, 
ac singularis ilia sapientiae, ac Religionis plena documenta quae iis 
litteris continentur accipere. Adjectum igitur huic epistolae exemplum 
duplex reperies tum Bullae, tum Encyclicae litterae, ac precor Deum 
ut Amplitudinem Tuam diu sospitem, ac felicem servet. 
Amplitudinis Tuae 

Romae ex Aedibus Sacrae Congnis de Propaganda Fide die 15. 
Junii 1824. 

Observantissimus Famulus 

Cong, de P. F. 
R. P. D. Aloysio Guillelmo Du-bourg 
£piscopo Novae Aureliae Sanctum Ludovicum 

Right Rev. and Most honored Sir: — 

His Holiness Pope Leo XII has issued the Bull of Indiction of 
the Jubilee, and an Encyclical Letter to all the Patriarchs, Primates, 
Archbishops, Bishops, &c., at the occasion of his elevation to the 
Sovereign Pontificate. I have at once directed that both be sent to 
Your Lordship, because I know you will be pleased to read the Bull 
of the Jubilee, and have no doubt, being aware of your veneration and 
ufrnost reverence for the Apostolic See, that it will be most agreeable 
to you to hear once more Peter speak to the Bishops through Leo, 
and to receive these remarkable utterances so full of wisdom and piety, 
which are contained in these Letters. You will find herein enclosed, 
therefore, two copies of the Bull and of the Encyclical Letter, and I 
pray God to keep Your Lordship yet many years in good health and 

Your Lordship's Most respectful Servant 

PETER CAPRANO, Archbp. of Icouium. 
Secretary of the S. Cong, of Propaganda 
Rome,^ Palace of the S. Cong, of Propaganda, June 15, 1824. 
To the Right Rev. Louis William Du Bourg, 
Bishop of New Orleans, 

St. Louis. 

1 Original in Archives of the St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. 



Secretary of Propaganda 

Illme, ac Rme Dne Dne Pne Colme 

Accepi Amplitudinis Tuae litteras Novae Aureliae scriptas die 
10. Maji quibus de Philadelphiensi dissidio loquens affirmas tibi illius 
extinguendi opportunam viam videri, Episcopum R. P. D. Conwell 
adducere, ut duos Sacerdotes qui plurimum gratia, et auctoritate apud 
ilium, valent, quibusque consiliariis maxime utitur, a se dimittat. Prae- 
teriisti tamen Sacerdotum illorum nomina mihi indicare. Erat autem 
omnino necessarium ea referre ut cum Episcopo ea de re tractatio 
suscipi posset. Ea igitur nomina ubi indicaveris, quid opportunum 
factu videbitur, poterit constitui. Interea vero non possum quin tibi 
significem mihi valde difficile videri Episcopo persuadere, ut ejusmodi 
consilium suscipiat. Oritur autem ea difficultas ex iis ipsis quae Tu 
de Sacerdotibus illis scripsisti. Si enim ii maxime possunt apud 
Episcopum auctoritate, et gratia, sique idem utitur illis veluti consil- 
iariis suis, nonne difficile magnopere erit illi persuadere ut a se prorsus 
eosdem dimittat? Neque vero certum arbitror, etiamsi Episcopus illos 
a se removeat futurum ut concordia restauretur. Praetereo hoc pro- 
missum reperiri in Epistola, quam dicis Hogan Sacerdotis successoris, 
qui certe caeteroquin Inglesius ille famosus non erit. Parum enim 
spei afferre posse Epistola ilia videtur, quam ipse affirmas Episcopo 
valde esse injuriosam. Dicam tantummodo, generatim, etiam timeri 
jure posse, ne homines Episcopo inimici, cum Sacerdotum illorum 
remotionem obtinuerint, promissa non sint servaturi. Sed haec tantum 
eo scripta a me fuisse credas, ut scias quae mihi difficultates in hoc 
negotio obversentur animo, De re ipsa enim agemus postquam respon- 
deris nomina describens Sacerdotum quos removendos judicares. In- 
terim enim laudans vehementer Amplitudinis Tuae studium ut res 
Ecclesiasticae Philadelphiae tandem aliquando componantur, precor 
Deum ut Amplitudinem Tuam diutissime sospitem, ac felicem servet. 
Amplitudinis Tuae 

Romae ex Aedibus Sac. Congnis de Propaganda Fide die 24 Julii 

Observantissimus et devotissimus 

Petrus Caprano Iconien. 


Right Reverend and Most honered Sir: — 

I am in receipt of Your Lordship's letter written from New Or- 

^ Original in Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. 


leans, on May 10/ wherein, speaking of the troubles in Philadelphia, 
you state that, in your opinion, the proper way to put an end to these 
troubles, is to persuade the Bishop, the Right Rev. Conwell, to rid 
himself of two priests, who enjoy his friendship, have great influence 
upon him, and are his principal advisers. You forgot, however, to 
give me the names of these two priests. Still mention of these names 
was absolutely necessary in order that the matter be broached with 
the Bishop. When you send them, it will be possible to determine the 
proper course of action to be followed. Meanwhile I cannot help tell- 
ing you that it appears to me very hard to persuade the Bishop to do 
as you suggest. The difficulty arises precisely from what you say 
about these priests. For if they have a great influence with the Bish- 
op, and enjoy his friendship, and if they are his advisers, will it not be 
indeed most difficult to persuade him to remove them? Furthermore 
I do not think it by any means certain, that, even if he removes them, 
concord will be restored. This promise is made in the letter which 
you say emanates from Hogan's successor, who can be no other than 
the notorius Inglesi.^ But I must leave that out of consideration ; for 
this letter, which you yourself declare to be very insulting to the Bishop, 
can hold out but scant hope. I shall say only, on general principles, 
that there is reason to fear that the enemies of the Bishop, when they 
have obtained the removal of these priests, will not keep their promise. 
My sole intention in writing this, pray believe me, is simply to let you 
know the difikulties which arise in my mind in connection with this 
affair. On the matter itself we shall take a decision when we have 
your answer indicating the names of the priests who, as you think, 
ought to be removed. Meanwhile, appreciating fully the zeal of Your 
Lordship for the settlement of the affairs of the Church in Phila- 
delphia, I pray God to keep Your Lordship yet many years in good 
health and happiness. 

Your Lordship's Most respectful and devoted 

Peter Caprano, 
Archbp. of Iconium, Secretary. 

2 This' letter, so far, has not been found ; it is possibly among the Documents 
forming Vol. S of the Scritture Referite net Congressi in the Archives of Propa- 

3 "Hogan finally . . . proposed to resign. The trustees accepted his resigna- 
tion and proceeded, in the very face of the Brief of Pope Pius VII, to appoint 
as pastor of St. Mary's Church an unworthy adventurer. Rev. A. Inglesi, who 
had imposed upon Bishop Du Bourg, and whose career had been fully exposed 
at Rome. But he came to Philadelphia with means, and had many paintings and 
other valuables, the fruit of his European collections for Louisiana. He had 
secured the support of the Sardinian consul at Philadelphia, and pleased the 
trustees. Ashley, Meade, Sullivan and their comrades did not even go through 
the form of presenting him for the Bishop's approval, they assumed the right to 
elect and institute." I. G. Shea, History of the Catholic Church in the U. S. 
Vol. Ill, p. 248. Two pages further on. Shea remarks the trustees had found 
Inglesi "not suited to their purposes." Here is a point of history yet to be 
cleared up. 





Secretary of Propaganda} 

Illme ac Domine, 

Hue jam duobus abhinc diebus redux appulit dileotus in 
noster D. Borgna, a quo, praeter varias extraordinarias facultates, 
quas ut nova Sacrae Congregationis in me fiduciae pignora suscepi, 
audii etiam, quod mihi longe multo acceptius, effusam in 
me -voluntatem, ejusque desiderium sit quam saepissime ipsi non solum 
de Dioecesis mihi commissae statu, sed etiam de variis quae in Foed- 
erata America ad religionis bonum spectant, mentem meam fiducialiter 
aperirem. Nil sane mihi pergratius accidere poterat, post infaustum 
errorem, quo Sacrae et V. bonam opinionem demeritus 
fueram. Equidem jam mihi in acerbissimo dolore multam consolationem 
attulerant humanissimae vereque paternae literae, quibus Pater Sanc- 
tissimus jussit me bono animo esse, mihique plane immerita dedit 
existimationis honorisque testimonia. Si quid cordis mei vulmus curare 
valeret, huic certe medicinae cedere debuisset ; sed imis visceribus manet 
infixum telum, quod, ut opinor, sola mors possit extrahere. Non idee 
tamen minus gratum Amp.i pro tenera in me solicitudine sensum 
foveo ; sed si quid apud ipsum valeo, si quae in ipso compassionis vis- 
cera, iterum rogo ut meae abdicationi apud Sum. Pontificem faveat, 
meque sinat onus declinare cui humeros jam dudum novi esse impares. 

Quoniam tamen aliqua adhuc me premunt debita, pro variis Ecle- 
siae contingentiis contracta, primum precor ut dignetur Amp.o Vestra 
jubere, ut quantocius mihi persolvantur mille scuta, quae solvenda 
adhuc remanent ex quatuor millibus mihi a Sanctae record. is Pio VII 
Summo Pont.e concessis, quaeque jam duos et amplius annos impa- 
tienter expectavi. Ita enim fiet ut mens mea partim saltem incipiat re- 

Non diffiitebor tamen, cogitanti mihi de mea abdictione, non me- 
dicos subintrare timores de futuro meae Dioeceseos statu. Scio enim 
quot calamitates viduatae Ecclesiae impendunt, sive ex diuturna Pas- 
toris carentia, sive etiam ex incongrua successoris electione. Non tarn 
cito obliviscar Philadelphiam, post decessum primi sui Praesulis Rev.mi 
D. Egan, per octo annos viduam remansisse, et post tot annos novum 
ad ipsam missum Epum, qui, utcumque virtute et doctrina polleret, ea 
tamen carebat hominum, locorum et institutionum notitia, sine qua 
prudentissimus quisque gravissimos errores vitare vix possit. Infelix 
certe nostrarum regionum conditio, ubi nullus sperare potest 
f ructus laborum suorum post mortem suam esse duraturos ! Hac sola 
consideratione facile sentiet Vestra f rangendum necessario esse 
etiam Apostolicum spiritum. Ut quid enim laboribus consumar, qui 

* Original in Archives of Propaganda. Scritturc Refcrite nei Congrcssi. 
Cod. 8. America Centralc. Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama. Dal 1823a tto. il 


tarn cito vel orbitate Ecclesiae meae, vel institutione ineptis successoris 
destruantur? Huic duplici malo facillimum tamen mihi videretur 
obviam ire, prudenti et apto electionum systemate. — Non hujusmodi 
mihi videtur esse electio, seu potens praesentatio per Episcopos pro- 
vinciales aut nationales : 1° quia cum sint a se invicem immensibus 
terrarum tractibus dissiti, nee adunari possunt, nee facile in unam 
mentem convenire. 2° quia vacantis Ecclesiae necessitates ut plurimum 
ignorant. 3° quia, ut jam docuit experientia, nimium tempus in coUi- 
gendis eorum sententiis teritur ; 4° quia saepe evenire potest ut tot sint 
praesentati quot Praesentatores ; inter quos proinde nulla apparet ratio 
cur unus aliis praeponatur. His difficultatibus non dubito retardatam 
hactenus electionem Bostoniensis Epi ; nee mihi occurrit quomodo 
tandem terminus his dilationibus ponatur. 

Fateor non iisdem regulis subjici posse electiones Episcoporum 
pro Diocesibus jam creatis, et pro novis creandis Sedibus ; neque etiam 
easdem obtinere posse in omnibus prioris categoriae ; idtoque adaptan- 
dum mihi videretur systema variis qui occurrere possunt casibus. — 
Cum simplicitate cordis Amp.i Vestrae quae puto utilia fore propo- 
nam. — 

1° Si agatur de nova creanda Sede, vel de electione Epi pro Dioe- 
cesi in qua vel nullus vel valde exiguus est clerus, Metropolitanus cum 
duobus Episcopis suae provinciae, quorum unus sit ille a cujus juris- 
dictione novum territorium separatur, per literas, ni aliter fieri possit, 
conveniat. Archiepus scilicet a praedictis fratribus suis sententiam 
petat, et Romam mittat schedulam praesentationis in qua singulorum 
vota exprimantur: nisi forte melius fore judicetur ut Episcoporum sibi 
responsa suae epistolae adjungat, ut facilius perpendere possit Sac. 
Cong.o praesentatorum merita. — 

2° Si agatur de.Dioecesi jam existente, ubi clerus saltem duo- 
decim sacerdotibus confletur, statim post decessum vel abdicationem 
Episcopi, convocetur clerus per Vicarium Generalem ; et post solemne 
triduum in invocanda S.ti Spiritus luce absumptum, ad scrutinium 
secretum procedat, Romamque sine mora transmittantur nomina horum 
trium qui majorem obtinuerint sufTragiorum copiam, cuilibet 
numerum votorum quae ipsi favent. 

3° Quod si Episcopus quilibet Coadjutorem a Sancta Sede petierit, 
velim eum in ipsius delectu eodem modo procedere, et puto facilem se 
praebendam Sacram Congregationem in concedendis Coadjutoribus, 
quia sic praecurritur tantis malis. 

Hac methodo procedendi in electione Praesulum consultum mihi 
videtur tum celeritati, quae nullibi magis quam in his regionibus est 
necessaria, tum etiam bono et prudenti Episcoporum delectui. Favet 
quoque ipsorum auctoritati, quae cum tota in conscientia et amore sub- 
ditorum est fundata, eo firmior et salubrior erit, quo ipsi majorem 
partem in eorum electione nacti f uerint ; demum et conformior est ve- 
teri Ecclesiae praxi, et magis accommodata spiritui temporum et loco- 
rum, institutionibusque civilibus quae Rempublicam istam regunt. Tollit 
proinde e medio vanas illas contra Romanae Ecclesiae Despotismum 
cavillationes, etsi revera nihil ipsius auctoritatis detrahat. 


Quidquid de hac propositione judicaverit sive Vestra sive 
Sacra Congregatio, puto me in ea submittenda muneri meo satisfecisse, 
nullumque incurrisse vituperium. 

Est et alia quaestio valde intricata, de qua timendum est ne fa- 
cilius in mentem eatur temporalium administratorum. Ipsi scilicet jus 
Patronatus allegantes, facultatem reclamant praesentandi quemlibet 
sacerdotem rite ordinatum ad pastorale officium, cum obligatione ex 
parte Episcopi instituendi eos qui sibi hoc modo a laicis propositi 
fuerint. Administratores Ecclesiae Mariae Philadelphiensis, in 
confirmationem dictae praetensionis, allegant jam judicatam rem fuisse 
a Pio VII in causa Ecclesiae Norfolkiensis. — Utrum tale decretum 
existat, aut quis sit ipsius tenor, prorsus ignoro. Certe sentio nihil 
excogitari posse, quod disciplinae Ecclesiasticae et Episcoporum auc- 
toritati magis aversetur quam hujusmodi concessio ; eaque vigente 
prorsus caducos fore omnes sacrorum Praesulum conatus ad fidei mo- 
rumque depositum custodiendum. Ita enim eveniet ut factiosi homines, 
artibus perfidis, in quasque parochias, suae farinae sacerdotes obtru- 
dant, qui cum sic instituti fuerint, turbulentis factionibus nixi, Eccle- 
siam impune scandalizabunt et haereticis ludibrium facient. Haec 
sane si probatione indigerent, plus quam satis exemplo ipsiusmet schismatis fuerunt demonstrata. Valeat quidquid valuerit in 
regnis catholicis jus illud Patronatus, ubique sane plenum periculis, at 
saltem in illis, legum Ecclesiasticarum, imo et civilium auctoritate ali- 
quatenus moderatum ; hie vero, ubi nulli legum f raeno improba con- 
scientia subjicitur, plane subversionem esset cujuscumque disciplinae. 
Aliunde vero longe distare mihi videtur administratorum nostrorum 
conditio a conditione fundatorum. Neque enim ipsi, nee ipsaemet 
Congregationes quas repraesentant, merito dici Ecclesiarum fundatores 
possunt, tum quia solent et ipsi Protestantes et exteri multum adjuvare 
m novis creationibus, quae generaliter ope subscriptionis fiunt, tum 
quia non sufficit Fabrica sed requiritur competens dotatio ad acquiren- 
dum jus Patronatus ; nullibi vero, quod sciam, in his statibus, existit 
Ecclesia dotata, nisi in hac civitate Novae Aureliae, ubi dotatio et 
fabricatio Cathedralis factae fuerunt ab uno individuo, qui 
utramque Hispaniarum Regi subjecerat, Regalique Patronatui annex- 

Aequum sane est ut Episcopi in instituendis Pastoribus multum 
opinioni fidelium consulant, in eoque mihi videtur im- 
prudenter egisse cum Rev.dos Harold et Ryan, publico odio obnoxios, 
contra notam mentem plurimorum saltem et maximae inter alios auctori- 
tatis laicorum, Ecclesiae Mariae praeficere mordicus voluit. Si 
mitius et consultius in eo se gessisset, si sepositis illis duobus, alios 
morigeratos et nulli adhuc infensos sacerdotes elegisset, ccrte scio 
schismatis flammas eum brevi compescuisse, nee unquam eo 
laicos ut jus illud Patronatus sibi vindicarent. Into puto etiamnuin 
conciliatoria hujusmodi zna unitateni facile posse restitui. — Utut sit, 
nolim tamen, schismatis unius abolendi causa, introduci disciplinam, 
quae schismatum ubique fons fieret uberrimus. 


De erigendis novis Episcopalibus Cathedris in Detroit, St. Louis, 
Vincennes, et Mobile, in quibus nunc Sacrae Congregationis attentio- 
nem versari testatur D. Borgna, libera quoque quod sentio de- 
promam. Nihil sane desiderabilius et Religionis augmento magis con- 
ducivum quam hujusmodi Episcoporum multiplicatio ; sed periculo earn 
fore puto, nisi novis competens ad victum assignatio fiat. Propria 
experientia didici quam deploranda sit conditio Episcopi in novis istis 
regionibus, ubi omnia creanda sunt, et desunt apud lideles sive media 
sive voluntas eum adjuvandi. Quod ad me spectat, si vel decimam 
aerumnarum partem quae me in meo Episcopatu afflixerunt, praevidere 
potuissem, nunquam adeo gravi oneri coUa flexissem. Mea tamen 
conditio aliquanto tolerabilior est multorum aliorum. Vellem igitur 
antequam de his erectionibus statuatur, novorum Praesulum mensae 
consultum esse. 

Pernecessarium quoque, meo quidem judicio, erit novas Metropoles 
erigere, et cuivis eum tantum adjungere suflfraganeorum numerum, qui, 
sine gravi incommodo, saltem singulis quinquenniis in Synodum conve- 
nire possit. Certe sufficiet oculos in Mappam Americae Foederatae 
conjicere, ut perfecte intelligatur omnino impossibile esse Episcopos 
citra Alleganenses montes constitutos Baltimorum convenire. Mea igi- 
tur sententia foret, ut Cincinnatensis sedes in Metropolim erigeretur; 
a qua penderent Bardensis, Vihcennensis et Detroitensis, utpote in 
medio earum posita, — et ex Louisiana separata conflaretur Provincia, 
uno Archiep.o et saltem duobus, ad praesens, suffraganeis con- 
stans : nimirum Novae Aureliae, S.ti Ludovici ad septentrionem, et 
Mobile versus orientem. Nisi haec fiant, Ep.orum unio et in eamdem 
sententiam consensio, Synodorumque Provincialium institutio, tam 
necessaria ad stabiliendam uniformem disciplinam, prorsus impossibiles 
evadent. Hac etiam nova Metropoleon divisione multo facilior fieret, 
juxta praedictum systema, Episcoporum electio. 

Haec omnia, ac, cum omni animi demissione, 
proposui, existimans me, etiamsi falcem in alienam messem misisse 
videri potuerim, a superbiae tamen aut ambitionis nota facile absolven- 
dum, qui in eo voluntati solummodo obtemperaverim. Ita 
in omnibus ad obediendum sibi, Sacraeque Congr.i paratum inveniet 
Novae Aureliae, Jan..i 29, 1825, 

Humillimum et gratissumum fam.m 

■f LuD. GuiL. Ep. Neo-Aurel. ac DD.o P. Caprano, 

P. S. — Quamquam fortassis grave Amp.i esse possit iterum 
audire, et mihi certe multo gravius esse debeat iterum loqui de famoso 
Inglesi mei tamen muneris, et E^jiscopalis mansuetudinis esse duco, 
quasdam de eo recens acceptas notitias Romam transferre. — Audivi 
scilicet a duobus praeclaris sacerdotibus, qui eum Philadelphiae invis- 
erunt infelicem diris remorsibus agitatum ad omnia paratum esse ut in 
gratiam Ecclesiae rediret. Huic nuntio etsi non penitus confidens, quia 
tandem notae mihi sunt hypocritae artes, tamen motus misericordia, 
nee desperans de conversione Peccatoris, ad ipsum scripsi ut mihi 


cordis intima patef aceret, offerens mediationem meam apud communem 
omnium Patrem, ut ipsi aperiretur ostium Poenitentiae et reconcilia- 
tionis. Accepto ab eo brevissimo response, quo se gratum et obedien- 
tem profitetur, rescripsi non sufficere mihi generalem hujusmodi pro- 
fessionem, sed requiri, ut, agnita longa errorum suorum serie, petat 
poenitentiam, et se paratum testetur ad claustrum ingrediendum, ut in 
eo, ad nutum Summi Pontificis, tamdiu commorandum.quamdiu neces- 
sarium judicetur ad sinceritatem emendationis suae comprobandam. Si 
mihi satisfecerit, cogito optimum fore si in Italiam redierit, etiam 
mutato nomine, et in antiquas partes, ubi ignotus latere possit, con- 
fugiat, obtenta prius Summi Pontificis licentia. — In medio tot faci- 
norum de quibus accusatur, duo tamen sunt quae spem ipsius conversi- 
onis dare possunt. — quod schismati Philad.i nomen dare re- 
nuerit ; quod Missionibus generatim magnam opem contulit, 
promovendo et modis omnibus excitando Institutionem Societatis in 
adjutorium Missiomim quae Lugduni in Galliis, eo potissimum movente, 
originem cepit, et subinde ad praecipuas Galliae, aliarumque quarum- 
dam regionum, civitates mirifice propagata est. 

Amp.m Vestram precor ut ista Sanctissimo nostro exponat, 
mihique quamprimum agendi in tam delicato negotio, ^ praescribat. 
Interim enixe apud Deum pro sospitate et felicitate vestra rogans, cum 
summa veneratione et afifectu iterum me subscribe Devotiss. famulum. 

+ LuD. GuiL. Ep. Neo-Aurel. 
Novae Aureliae Jan.i 29.a 1825 ac D.o D.o Petro Caprano 
Archiep.o Sac. Congr. de Prop. Fide a Secretis 

Most Reverend Dear Sir: — 

Two days ago our dear Father Borgna landed here. ^ From him 
I received various extraordinary faculties, which I look upon as new 
tokens of the confidence which the S. Congregation places in me ; I 

2 One word missing. 

3 Father Philip Borgna, CM., of Saluzzo, in Piedmont, had come to America 
in i8i8, being then only a theological student, together with Mr. Anthony Potini, 
CM., also a scholastic, and Father Francis Cellini, who had just been received 
at Monte Citorio ; they had sailed from Leghorn in company with the Rossetti 
band. Landing at Philadelphia in the first days of October, the three, leaving 
behind their Milanese travelling companions, started at once for the West, and 
reached the Seminary at the Barrens on January 5, 1819. There Mr. Borgna 
and Mr. Potini continued their theological studies, the former being ordained 
to the priesthood in St. Louis, on March 19, 1920, at the same time as Inglesi. 
After his ordination he returned to the Barrens; but, as his health soon began 
to give anxieties, he was first sent to St. Louis (July 1820) and, a few months 
later (beginning of September), to New Orleans, where he was stationed at the 
Cathedral. When yellow fever broke out at the end of the summer. Father 
Borgna vied with his confrere Father Andrew Ferrari, in his devotedness to the 
stricken people. It is said of him that he daily administered the last sacraments 
to upwards of thirty. persons. Both were attacked by the terrible disease: Father 
Ferrari, after a few days' illness, died on November i ; Father Brogna recovered, 


heard also, and this was much more welcome, what affectionate inter- 
est Your Grace manifests towards me, and that you wish me to fre- 
quently open my heart candidly to you, not only concerning the con- 
dition of the Diocese entrusted to my care, but also touching the vari- 
ous objects which have bearing on the good of religion in the United 
States.* Nothing certainly could afford me greater pleasure, after the 
miserable mistake by which I had well deserved to lose the good opinion 
that the S. Congregation and Your Lordship had of me.^ I must add 
that in my bitter sorrow, I had received much comfort from the very 
kind and truly paternal letter by which the Holy Father bade me be 
of good cheer, and gave me marks of esteem and honor which were 
absolutely undeserved. If anything could cure the wound of my heart, 
that is certainly the kind of medicine which would do it ; but the missile 
remains imbedded in the inmost depths of my heart, and I think that 
death alone will be able to remove it. I am none the less thankful to 
Your Lordship for your tender solicitude in my behalf ; and, if I have 
any persuasive influence with you, and if you yourself have any com- 
passion of me, I beg you once more to further my resignation with the 
Sovereign Pontiff, so that he may let me lay down a burden which, I 
have realized long ago, my shoulders are unable to bear.^ 

but suffered much for some time of the after effects of the malady, so that it 
was deemed advisable to send him back to Italy in the hope that the air of his 
native country would completely restore him. Bishop Du Bourg readily granted 
him a leave of absence (letter of February 27, 1823, from Washington), entrust- 
ing to him a number of delicate negociations in Rome, while Father Rosati 
through him sent back to Rome the Brief of his apiKtintment to the Vicariate 
Apostolic of Mississippi and Alabama, and begged him earnestly to plead the 
reasons of his (Rosati's ) refusal of the burden. Borgna sailed from New Or- 
leans on the lOth of April, 1823, and after some time spent in Paris, in Turin 
and with his family near Saluzzo, he arrived in Rome towards the end of the 
year. Meanwhile Propaganda had, on the representations of Du Bourg and 
Rosati, cancelled the latter's appointment, and sent a new Brief making him 
Coadjutor to Bishop Du Bourg (See above. Letter XXXV, p. 137). Borgna was 
resolved, at any rate, to set aside his Superior's commands to follow in this 
matter the dictates of his conscience, and therefore, work for the promotion 
of Rosati. He remained in Italy until the fall of 1824, and then came back to 
New Orleans. 

* The reader has already noticed no doubt, that for some time past, Du 
Bourg's correspondence with Propaganda was carried on mostly with the Secre- 
tary of that Congregation. 

' This is evidently an allusion to the unfortunate Inglesi affair. 

® These words seem to suppose that the Bishop had already, in a previous 
letter, offered or tendered his resignation. There was question of resigning in 
the letter sent from St. Louis on October i, 1822, in which the prelate made 
such a strong plea against the division of the Diocese; but this can scarcely be 
regarded as a downright request to be allowed to lay down the burden: it was 
rather a kind of respectful ultimatum as muc^h as an ultimatum may be respect- 
ful : "if you are determined to divide," he said equivalently, "then take me out." 
But there is a letter — which so far has escaped the researches made in the Propa- 
ganda Archives—^, written probably from Washington after the Bishop's eyes 
were finally opened on the true worth of Inglesi ; this would be the most likely 
occasion where the prelate offered — and perhaps tendered — his lesignation. The 
allusion just made before to this — for him — very humiliating affair render this 
surmise probable. 


However as I have still a few debts/ which I contracted for vari- 
ous emergencies in connection with the Church, I first beg Your Lord- 
ship to deign give orders to have forwarded to me the thousand scudi 
which remain still due of the four thousand granted me by Pope 
Pius VII of holy memory, and for which I have been impatiently 
waiting for two years and more. This indeed will permit me to begin 
to breathe more freely. 

Now I will not conceal the fact that, when I am thinking of 
resigning, no small fears concerning the future of my Diocese come 
up to my mind. I know, indeed, to what calamities is exposed a Church 
without Pastor, either on account of the long vacancy of the Sec, or 
on account of the choice of the wrong successor. I cannot forget so 
soon how Philadelphia, after the demise of its prelate, the Rt. Rev. 
Dr. Egan, remained unprovided for eight years, and after such a long 
time was given a Bishop who, no matter what his virtues and science, 
was lacking in that knowledge of men, places and institutions, without 
which the most prudent man can hardly avoid falling into the most 
grievous mistakes. Most unfortunate certainly is the condition of this 
our country, where no Bishop can hope that the fruit of his labors 
will survive after his death ! This consideration alone, Your Lord- 
ship may readily realise, is bound to break down even the staunchest 
apostolic spirit. Why indeed should I be utterly spent in labors, as in 
a very short while, either the vacancy of my See, or the choice of an 
unfit successor will cause the ruin of whatever these labors succeeded 
in achieving? It seems to me, however, that this twofold calamity may 
be easily remedied, namely by a prudent and proper system of Epis- 
copal elections. 

Such does not seem to me to be the choice, or strong recommenda- 
tion of the Bishops of the Province or of the whole country: because, 
1° these prelates being separated from one another by immense ter- 
ritories, can neither assemble themselves, nor even easily come to a 
unanimity of opinion ; 2° they, most of the time, are not conversant 
with the wants of the vacant See; 3° experience shows that too much 
time is wasted in gathering their opinions ; 4° it may often happen 
that as many candidates are presented as there are prelates presenting 
them ; and in this case it is hard to see what motive may determine the 
choice of one candidate rather than of another. It is owing to these 
difficulties, I am sure, that the election of a Bishop for Boston has been 
thus far delayed ; and I do not see indeed how these delays could be 
put to an end. 

I grant that episcopal elections for Sees already in existence can- 
not be governed by the same rules as elections for new Sees to create ; 
nor even can the same rules be applied uniformly for filling Sees of the 
former category. Hence, I should think that a method should be 
adopted which could adapt itself to the various cases that may occur. 

^ There was in St. Louis the Montmorenci debt ($6,000.00) about which see 
Review, Vol. II, p. 200 and foil., and there were several debts in New Orleans. 


In all simplicity I shall presently propose to Your Lordship what I 
deem to be useful. 

1° In the case of a new See to erect, or of the election of a 
Bishop for a Diocese where there is practically no clergy, or a very 
small clergy, let the Metropolitan confer, by letters, if they cannot do 
otherwise, with two Bishops of his province, one of whom ought to 
be the Bishop of the Diocese to be dismembered. That is, let the 
Archbishop ask from his Brother-Bishops above mentioned their pro- 
posals, and send to Rome a list of presentation in which the votes of 
each be specified; unless indeed he deems it better to forward with his 
letter to Rome the answers of the Bishops, so that the S. Congreg. may 
more easily weigh the merits of the various candidates. 

2° In the case of a Diocese already in existence, and where there 
is a clergy of at least twelve Priests, let the clregy, immediately after 
the demise or resignation of the Bishop, be convoked by their Vicar 
General, and after three days devoted to invoking the assistance of 
the Holy Ghost, let them take a secret ballot, and at once forward to 
Rome the names of the three who obtained more votes, mentioning 
after each of these names the numbers of votes obtained. 

3° In case of a Bishop who asked the Holy See for a Coadjutor, 
I should like the same course to be taken for the choice of the Coad- 
jutor; and I believe that the S. Congregation should show itself will- 
ing to grant Coadjutors, because this prevents many evils. 

This mode of proceeding in the election of Bishops seems to me 
to secure not only speed, which is nowhere more necessary in this 
matter than in this country, but also good and prudent choices. It will 
also contribute to the authority of these Bishops, which, as it all rests 
upon the conscience and love of the subjects, will be the more firm and 
beneficial, because the subjects had a greater part in the choice ; more- 
over, it is more in conformity with the ancient practice of the Church, 
and better adapted to the spirit of our times and places, and to the 
civil institutions which govern this Republic. Finally it does away 
with the vain cavil against the Roman Church's despotism, whilst real- 
ly detracting nothing from that Church's authority. 

Whatever Your Lordship may think of this proposition, at all 
events, I consider I am, in submitting it, discharching my duty and 
incurring no blame. 

There is another question, one most intricate, on which I am 
afraid there might be danger of yielding too much to the opinion of 
the Trustees. Alleging the jtis patronatus, they claim the privilege to 
present for the pastoral office any priest duly ordained, with obligation 
on the part of the Bishop to confer canonical institution on the candi- 
dates thus proposed by laymen. The trustees of the Church of St. 
Mary, in Philadelphia, in support of that pretension, allege that the 
matter was adjudicated by Pius VII in the cause of the church of 
Norfolk. — Now whether such a decree was actually issued, or what 
is its tenor, I don't know. At any rate my opinion is that nothing can 
be conceived more contrary to the discipline of the Church and to 
Episcopal authority than a concession of this nature ; and as long as it 

148 NOTES 

is in force, utterly unavailing will be all the efforts of the Bishops to 
safeguard the deposit of faith and morals. For it will happen that a 
clique will, by means of evil schemes, succeed in thrusting upon every 
parish priests of the same ilk, who, once canonically instituted, relying 
on the support of turbulent factions, will with impunity scandalize the 
Church and make it a by-word to non-catholics. Were proof of this 
wanted, more than is needed is offered by the Schism of Philadelphia. 
Be the value of the jus patronatus as it may in Catholic countries, — 
and no doubt everywhere danger lurks in it, — in such countries, at 
any rate, it is somewhat checked by the authority of ecclesiastical and 
civil laws ; but here, where no legal restraint is put on evil consciences, 
it means no less than the upsetting of all discipline. At all events, 
there seems to me to exist a vast difference between the condition of 
our Trustees and that of the Founders. For neither the Trustees, nor 
the congregations they represent, can rightfully be called the founders 
of the churches : because, as a rule, Protestants and persons not belong- 
ing to the parish contribute to the new constructions, which usually are 
erected by means of subscriptions ; then again, the fabrica — the build- 
ing, — does not suffice to confer the jiis patronatus : there is, moreover, 
required a competent endowment. Now nowhere, that I know of, in 
these United States, is there in existence a church endo7ved, except in 
this City of New Orleans, where the endowment and the building of 
the Cathedral were the gift of an individual, who made both subject 
to the King of Spain, and to the Royal Patronatus. 

Of course, it is reasonable that, in appointing Pastors, the Bish- 
ops should have much regard for the opinion of the faithful ; and in 
this connection, I think that the Bishop of Philadelphia did not act 
with all desirable prudence when he insisted on appointing to St. Mary's, 
against the well-known sentiment of the majority of the /Uity, and of 
those of them who enjoy the greatest authority, the Revs. Harold and 
Ryan, who were the object of popular dislike. Had he acted in this 
affair with more mildness and consideration, and, leaving aside those 
two, had he selected other priests of good standing and unsympathetic 
to no one, / know of certain knowledge he would have in a very short 
while quenched the flames of the Schism, and that the laity would 
never have gone so far as to claim the exercise of that jus Patronatus. 
Nay even, I am of opinion that, even now, such a course zvould easily 
open again the way to unity. However this may be, still I would not 
wish that, in order to put an end to one schism, a discipline should be 
introduced which would prove everywhere a prolific source of schisms. 

Touching the erection of new Episcopal Sees in Detroit, St. Louis, 
Vincennes and Mobile, in which, Father Borgna tells me, the attention 
of the S. Congregation is now engaged, I beg to state freely, here too, 
what I feel. Undoubtedly nothing is more desirable, and better calcu- 
lated to bring about the progress of Religion, than increasing the num- 
bers of Bishops ; but this increase may, in my opinion, prove a danger, 
if nothing is fixed in regard to the decent support of the new Bishops. 
My own experience has taught me how deplorable is the condition of 

NOTES 149 

a Bishop in this new country, where everything has to be created, and 
where the faithful lack either the means or the wish to help. As far 
as I am concerned, had I been able to foresee one-tenth of the worries 
which have afflicted my Episcopate, never would I have accepted the 
burden. And yet my condition is somewhat more bearable than that 
of many others. That is why I would that before any decision be 
arrived at in regard to the creation of these Sees, provisions be made 
for the support of the new Bishops. 

It will be likewise absolutely necessary, according to my judgment, 
to erect new Metropolitan Sees, and to assign to each one only such 
suffragans as may, without grave inconvenience, assemble in Council, 
at least every five years. A mere glance at a map of the United States 
is sufficient to understand perfectly that it is quite impossible for the 
Bishops west of the Alleghanies to convene in Baltimore. I am of 
opinion that Cincinnati should be made a Metropolitan See, with Bards- 
town, Vincennes and Detroit as suffragans : Cincinnati is quite central 
in regard to these ; Louisiana should also constitute a separate Prov- 
ince, consisting of the Archbishop and, for the time being, two suf- 
fragan Bishops, that is New Orleans, St. Louis to the North and 
Mobile to the East. Unless this is done, the union of the Bishops and 
their agreement is one opinion, and the institution of Provincial Synods, 
so necessary for the establishment of the unity of discipline, will be 
rendered quite impossible. This new division of Ecclesiastical prov- 
inces, moreover, would make much easier the selection of Bishops, 
according to the present system. 

All these suggestions. Right Reverend and Dear Lord, I have made 
in all humility, judging that even though I may seem to put my sickle 
in another's harvest, yet I may be easily absolved of all suspicion of 
pride or ambition, for in this matter I would not have any other rule 
than the wish of Your Lordship. Thus will you and the S. Congrega- 
tion find, ever disposed to obey in everything, 

Your most humble and grateful Servant 

+ Louis Wm. Bp. of New Orl. 
New Orleans, January 29, 1825 
To the Most Rev. P. Caprano, 
Secretary of the S. C. of Propaganda, 

P. S. — Although it may be burdensome to Your Lordship to hear, 
and it should be still more burdensome to me to speak again, of the 
notorious Inglesi, yet I deem it a duty of my office and of Episcopal 
mansuetude to communicate to Rome certain news which I have lately 
received about him. I heard from two excellent priests who went to 
see him at Philadelphia, that the poor fellow is stricken with bitter 
remorse and ready for anything that may restore him in peace with the 
Church. Although I did not give unreserved credit to this informa- 
tion, because at last I have come to know his hypocrisy, still, moved 
with pity and yet hoping for the sinner's conversion, I wrote to him 
to open his heart to me, offering my mediation with our common Fa- 
ther, in order that the door of penitence and reconciliation might be 

150 NOTES 

opened before him. I received from him a very short answer, in 
which he makes profession of gratitude and obedience. Whereupon 
I rephed that such a general profession was not sufficient, but that he 
should acknowledge the long series of his errors, ask penance, and 
declare himself ready to enter a monastery, where he would remain, 
at the Sovereign Pontiff's will, as long as would be deemed necessary 
to test the sincerity of his conversion. In case he returns a satisfac- 
tory answer, I think that it would be best for him to return to Italy, 
even under an assumed name, and seek refuge in some out of the way 
place where he may hide himself unknown to all, after obtaining, of 
course, the Sovereign's Pontiff's leave. Among so many crimes which 
he is accused of, there are, however, two things capable of giving hope 
of his conversion : the first is, that he refused to take sides with the 
schism of Philadelphia ; the second that he did a great deal for the 
Missions at large, by promoting and stimulating the Institution of the 
Society of the Propagation of the Faith, which was launched in Lyons, 
France, chiefly at his instigation, and has since spread wonderfully 
through the largest cities of France and of some other countries. 

I beg Your Lordship to explain this to our Holy Father, and to 
prescribe to me, at your earliest convenience, how I should act in so 
delicate a matter. Meanwhile, praying God earnestly for your health 
and happiness, with the greatest respect and affection I subscribe 

Your Lordship's 

Most devoted Servant 

+ Louis Wm. Bp. of New Orl. 
New Orleans, January 29, 1825. 
To the Most Rev. Peter Caprano 
Archbishop of Iconium, 
Secretary of the S. Cong, of Propaganda. 





Issued Quarterly 





Volume 111 JULY 1921 Number 3 


209 WaivNut Street, St. Louis, Mo. 



Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis 154 

The Potawatomi Mission of Council Bluffs 

Rev. Gilbert J. Garraghan, S. J. 155 

Life Story of Alexander Bellesime A Hero of the 
American Revolution 

A Sister of St. Joseph, of Carondelet 17 A 

An Appeal 180 

Notes • . . . . 181 

Documents From Our Archives 191 

Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis 

Established February 7th, 191 7 


President — Most Rev. John J. Glennon, D. D. 

First Vice-President — Rt. Rev. Mgr. J. A. Connolly, V. G. 

Second Vice-President and Treasurer — Edward Brown 

Third Vice-President — Louise M. Garesche 

Secretary — Rev. Edward H. Amsinger 

and Archivists 


Rev. F. G. Holweck 

Rev. Charles L. Souvay, C. M., D. D. 

Rev. Gilbert J. Garraghan, S. J. 

Rt. Rev. Mgr. J. A. Connolly, V. G., President 
Rt. Rev. Mgr. J. J. Tannrath, Chancellor 
Rev. Charles L. Souvay, C. M., D. D. 
Rev. F. G. Holweck 
Rev. Martin L. Brennan, Sc D. 
Rev. John Rothensteiner 
Rev. Edward H. Amsinger 
[^ Edward Brown 

on Library 
and Publications 

f Rev. Charles L. Souvay, C. M., D. D. 
I Rev. F. G. Holweck 
■{ Rev. Gilbert J. Garraghan, S. J. 
I Rev. John Rothensteiner 
(^ Edward Brown 


General Correspondence should be addressed to Rev. Edward H. Amsinger, 
Secretary, 744 S. Third St., St. Louis, Mo. 

Exchange publications and matter submitted for publication in the St. Louis 
Cathouc Historical Review should be sent to the Editor-in-chief, Rev. Charles 
L. Souvay, CM., DD., Kenrick Seminary, Webster Groves, Mo. 

Remittances should be made to Edward Brown, Treasurer, 511 Locust St., 
St. Louis, Mo. 




Of the Indian tribes that shared the ministrations of the earHer 
Jesuit missionaries of the Middle West none have filled a larger place 
in American history than the Potawatomi. The earliest known habitat 
of this interesting Algonquin folk was the lower Michigan peninsula. 
Driven thence by Iroquois invaders, they settled on and about the 
islands at the. mouth of Green Bay, Lake Michigan, where they 
were met about 1632 by the adventurer, Jean Nicolet, the first white 
man to reach Wisconsin. Later on they moved south, displacing the 
Miami and holding both "shores of Lake Michigan from about Mani- 
towoc (44°) on the West around to about Grand River (43°) on 
the East and Southward to the Wabash, comprising territory in Wis- 
consin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, with some fifty villages, in- 
cluding those on the sites of Milwaukee, South Bend, (St. Joseph) 
and Grand Rapids." ^ 

Of Algonquin stock, the Potawatomi were allied in blood, lan- 
guage, manners and character to the Ottawa and the O jib way or 
Chippewa, with whom they seemed to have formed originally a single 
people.^ The Potawatomi or "fire-makers," "people of the fire-place," 
may thus owe their name to the fact that they separated from the 
other two 1;ribes and built a new fire, in other words, set themselves 
up as an independent tribe. They were hunters and fishers, tilling 
the ground but sparingly and this for a meager harvest of maize. 
They were a fighting race and, in consequence, frequently at war 

1 James Mooney, Catholic Encyclopedia. The spellincr of Indian tribal names, except 
in cited passages and documents, will conform to Government usage as adopted in 

Hodge's Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. 2v., Washington, 1912. 
(Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30). In most Indian tribal names, as in Pota- 
watomi, Kansa, there is only one form for both singular and plural. It may be noted 
that the recognized form "Potawatomi," which is of rather uncommon occurrence in 
printed literature, popular usage sanctions the spellnig "Pottawatomie," as "Pottowatomie" 
Countv Kansas, is emo'oved bv Fatlier De Smet in a letter written from Council Bluffs, 
August 20, 1838. Richardson and Chittenden's De Smet, 1; 160. 

2 Hodge, op. cit.. 2: 289. "According to the tradition of all three tribes, the Pota- 
watomi, Chippewa and Ottawa were originally one people, and seemed to have reached 
the region about the upper end of Lake Huron together. Here they separated, but the 
three ha^'e sometirnes formed a loose confederacy, or have acted in concert and in 1846, 
those removed beyond the Mississippi, asserting their former connection, asked to be again 



with the other tribes and with the whites. They supported the French 
against the English in the great struggle between the two powers for 
Canada and the West and under Pontiac continued the fight against 
the English until 1765. That picturesque hero, the son of a Chippewa 
mother and an Ottawa by adoption, is called in a contemporary docu- 
ment, "great chief of all the Ottawas, Chippewas and Potawatomies 
and of all the lakes and rivers of the West." ^ When, in July, 1767, 
Pontiac concluded a treaty of peace at Oswego with Sir William 
Johnson, it was in presence of the chiefs of the Potawatomi as of the 
Ottawa, Huron and Chippewa tribes. In the Revolutionary War the 
Potawatomi made common cause with the British and again in 1812 
a part of them at least, under the leadership of Tecumseh, took up 
arms once more against the Americans. It is a curious fact that this 
tribe, when the opportunity came, ranged itself with the enemies of 
the United States. 

Between the Potawatomi and the early Jesuit missionaries numer- 
ous links of assiciation were formed from the first entrance of the 
latter into the Middle West. Jogues and Raymbaut, the first Jesuits 
to reach the upper Michigan peninsula, met certain members of the 
tribe at the celebration of "the feast of the dead" in the Huron coun- 
try in 1641. At AUouez's mission of Le Saint Esprit on Lake Superior 
the Potawatomi were frequent visitors. Here Marquette made their 
acquaintance and in 1674, on his last trip to the Illinois country, he 
had some of their tribesmen in his party. In 1669, Allouez opened the 
mission of St. Irancis Xavier, near the head of Green Bay, Wiscon- 
sin, for the neighboringPotawatomi, Sauk, Foxes and Winnebago. 
But the most considerable of the Potawatomi missions was that of 
St. Joseph on the river of the same name which empties into Lake 
Michigan near its south-eastern corner. Founded in 1689 by the re- 
sourceful Allouez, it continued to be served by resident or visiting 
Jesuit missionaries down to the suppression of their Order. It stood 
near a fort of the same name on the St. Joseph River, which connects 
by a short portage with the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, and became 
for that reason a favorite Lakes-to-the-Gulf route for the early French 
explorers and voyageurs. The site of the mission-buildings lay a few 
miles north of the Indiana state-line and close to the town-site of Niles 
in Michigan. A Miami village, one of the three belonging to the tribe, 
was in the immediate neighborhood of the mission and shared with 
the Potawatomi the ministrations of the Jesuits. This accounts for the 
circumstances that St. Joseph's is sometimes described in the Relations 
as a miami mission. The last of the older Jesuit missionaries in the west 
were Fathers Marie Louis Lefranc and Pierre du Jaunay, stationed 
at Mackinac till about 1765, and Father Pierre Pothier, who died at 
the Huron mission opposite Detroit in 1781. They were the last of the 
Society to visit the Indians on the St. Joseph. 

By the treaty of Greenville in 1795 the Potawatomi agreed to sell 

Parkman, Conspiracy of Pontiac, 


to the United States a tract of land six miles square lying at the mouth 
of the Chicago River. Here was destined to rise in later years the great 
metropolis of the West and the fourth largest city in the world. On 
August 7, 1826, only thirty-one years later than the treaty of Green- 
ville, occurred the first election in the history of Chicago. The names 
of the voters on this occasion, thirty-five in number, indicate that fully 
three-fourths of them were Indians and mixed bloods. The names 
include those of Daniel Bourassa, Antoine Ouilmette, Francis La- 
Framboise Sr., Francis LaFramboise Jr., Joseph LaFramboise, Claude 
LaFramboise, Joseph Pothier, Jean Baptiste Beaubien, Billy Caldwell 
and Alexander Robinson.* A few more years passed away and the 
anomalous position of the Potawatomi as property owners in the 
commonwealth of Illinois came to an end. By the treaty of Chicago, 
concluded September 26, 1833, and ratified February 21, 1835, the 
united bands of Chippewa, Ottawa and Potawatomi sold to the gov- 
ernment the remnant of their holdings in Michigan, Indiana and Illi- 
nois, 5,000,000 acres in all, receiving in consideration one dollar per 
acre and in addition, a grant of 5,000,000 acres of land on the north- 
east side of the Missouri River.^ To this new home, represented 
roughly on the map of to-day by the westernmost third of the state 
of Iowa, the Indians agreed to move immediately on the ratification 
of the treaty.® 

In 1835 a delegation of Potawatomi under the conduct of a Mr. 
Gordon visited the Iowa reserve. They found it more remotely situated 
than they had anticipated and rather uncomfortably close to the Sioux 
and other bellicose tribes of the Upper Missouri.^ In consequence 
of the unfavorable reports of the prospectors the emigrant bands of 

* Andreas, History of Chicago. 

5 The text of the Chicago treaty of 1833 is in Kappler, Indian Affairs and Treaties, 
2: 402. A discussion of its terms and of the circumstances which attended its signing 
may be read in Milo Milton Quaife's Chicago and the Old Northwest, 1673 — 1835, (Uni- 
versity of Chicago Press, 1913) 348 — 368. The Chippewa, Ottawa and Potawatomi, closely 
related in blood and language, were grouped together under a government official desig- 
nation as the United Nation. However, as an Indian agent at Council Bluffs observed, 
the designation was a misnomer, the fact being that the group of Indians described col- 
lectively as the United Nation were almost exclusively of Potawatomi stock. Reports 
emanating from the Indian Department at this period distinguished carefully between 
the United Nation (Council Bluffs Potawatomi) and the Potawatomi of Indiana (St. 
Joseph and Wabash bands), who were settled during the period 1837 — 1848 on the 
Osage River reserve. The Council Bluffs Potawatomi also went frequently by the name 
of the Prairie band, while their kinsmen of the Osage River reserve were called Pota- 
watomi of the Woods {Potawatomi des forests). In 1848 both Osage River and Council 
Bluffs reserves were abandoned and the two sections of the Potawatomi tribe gathered on 
a common reserve on the Kaw River, a few miles above Topeka. The Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs in his report of November 28, 1848, refers to the United Nation or Coun- 
cil Bluffs Potawatomi as "the Chicago Indians." 

6 "Boundaries. North by a line running due east from the sources of the Little 
Sioux River to the Western boundary of the Sac and Fox country, as established by the 
treaty of Prairie du Chien; west by the Little Sioux and Missouri Rivers; south by 
the State of Missouri; east by the divide between the waters of the Des Moines, Skunk 
and Iowa on the East, and those flowing into the Missouri on the West. Extent: 5,000,000 

of acres by treaty commensing in latitude 40° 30 'N, where the boundary of the 

state strikes the Missouri, that river washes the western border of the country of the 
"United Nation" for a distance of not less, probably, than ninety-five or one hundred 
miles. The average distance from the Missouri to the divide which forms the boundary 
of the Sac and Fox country may be about the same." 

7 The Annual Register of Indian Affairs within the Indian (or Western Territory). 
Published by Isaac McCoy, Shawanoe Baptist Mission House, Indian Territory, May, 
1836, p. 20. 


the "Chicago" Potawatomi or United Nation, as they were officially 
designated, on leaving Illinois and the adjacent states, took a south- 
westerly course that brought them towards the junction of the Kaw 
and Missouri Rivers and even beyond the latter stream into the Indian 
country proper.^ It was not until 1837 that the "Chicago Potawatomi 
finally reached and settled down on their proper lands. Two detach- 
ments of them arrived that year by Missouri River steamboat at Coun- 
cil Blufifs, followed not long after by the main body of the nation, 
who marched up the east bank of the Missouri from their first halting 
places in the neighborhood of Fort Leavenworth and the Blacksnake 
Hills. ^ The last parties of the United Nation to join their fellow- 
tribesmen on the new reserve arrived in 1838.^° 


In the course of his western prospecting trip of 1835 Father Van 
Quickenborne, S.J., made his first acquaintance with the United Na- 
tion. The meeting was a providential one, for it was to lead ultimately 
to the establishment of a Catholic mission in their midst. 

"I had the consolation of falling in with a party of Pottawatomies 
sent by their nation to inspect the new lands which the Government 
had given in exchange for the old. The Pottawatomie, Chippewa and 
Ottowa Nations having inter-married on a large scale, go at present 
under the name of the United Nation of the Chippewas, Ottowas and . . 
Pottawatomies. Under this name they have made a treaty with the 
United States Government that obliges them to go and reside on the 
left bank of the Missouri a little above the Kickapoos. They were 
formerly dispersed over a vast territory out of which have been carved 
the states of Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Our Fathers had several 
posts among them, two of which, St. Joseph and Arbre Croche are 
still in The last named prospers highly. Frequent men- 
tion is made in the Annates de la Propagation de la Foi of the mission 
as also of the virtues of the tireless missionary who presides over it. 
In the deputation I met were several Catholics, one of them being 
the chief (of the nation). 12 They told me it would be highly bene- 

8 The first emigration of the "Chicago" Potawatomi took place in September, 1835. 
Cf. Illino-is Catholic Historical Review, 1; 164. 

9 Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1837. The report of the Commissioner 
of Indian Affairs containing reports from the various agents and sub-agents was not 
issued separately at this period but was embodied in the series of Senate Documents for 
the respective years. 

10 Report of the Comtnissioner of Indian Affairs, 1840. According to the Report of 
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the emigration of the "Chicago Indians" (i. e. the 
United Nation of the Ottawa, Chippewa and Potowatomi began in 1835 and terminated 
in 1838. The entire number of Indians removed to the Council Bluffs agency prior to 
1840 was 2,734. 

11 Th,; Potawatomi Mission on the St. Joseph River, founded in 1689 by the veteran 
missionary, Claude Allouez, stood on the river-hank, a few m'les north of the Indiana- 
Michigan line and close to the town-site of Niles, Michigan. The mission was reopened 
in 1830 by the venerable Father Stephan r>adin and a large number of converts made 
among the Indians. 

12 The Potawatomi met by Father Van Quickenhorne in 1835 were of the group of 
"Chicago" Indians, w^o were assigned the Council Bluff reserve uiuler the treaty of 
1833. The Catholic chief that figures in the missionary's account was evidently Billy 
Caldwell, i)rincii>al business chief of the tribe. lie was retnited *o be the son of an English 
army officer and a Potawatomi woman, and was attached to the Indian hero, Tecumseh, 
in the capacity of secretary, fighting with him nt the baitle of the Thames in which 
the latter perished. He was known during his residence in Chicago under the soubriquet 
of "S'auganash" or Englishman. 


ficial to them to have a mission in their new country, that they could 
not all go to Arbre Croche, that the lands assigned them by govern- 
ment were their only means of subsistence that there the annuities 
would be paid and the protection of the government secured to them. 
Once the mission was established other Catholic Indians would come 
and join them. Friends of ours in a position to judge impartially of 
the real condition of things far from challenging these reasons for 
the mission in question supply new ones. According to them, we should 
thereby render a distinct service not only to the natives, but to the en- 
tire Catholic Church of the United States." ^^ 

In September, 1835, Van Quickenborne was in Washington to 
secure Government subsidies for his projected Kickapoo and Pot- 
awatomi schools. His petition of September 17, addressed to the 
Secretary of War, was referred by that official to Commissioner 
of Indian Affairs Herring, who replied on the 22nd of the same 
month, granting an appropriation in favor of the Kickapoo school, but 
refusing the one asked for in behalf of the Potawatomi school. 

"In regard to a school among the United Nations of Chippewas, 
Ottawas and Pottawatomies : 

The treaty of September, 1833, which was ratified in February, 
1835, provided for the appropriation of seventy thousand dollars 'for 
purposes of education and the encouragement of the domestic arts.' 
In accordance with the wishes of these Indians, this sum has been in- 
vested in stock. This stock bears an interest of five per cent, of which 
the first payment will be made in January next. As the sum must be 
expended west of the Mississippi, the Department considers it proper 
that the interest which shall accrue prior to the settlement of these 
Indians in their own country shall also be invested. As the emigration 
will not probably be completed within two years, no definite arrange- 
ments will now be made for the application of this fund. At a proper 
time the Department will determine what part of it shall be applied 
for the support of schools, and what part to the other objects, indicated 
by the general clause, 'the encouragement of domestic arts.' The wishes 
you have now expressed on the subject will then be respectfully con- 
sidered. 1* 

The Kickapoo mission and school became a reality in 1836 and 
Father Van Quickenborne while residing there again came into contact 
with the United Nation. He visited them in their camp on the east 
bank of the Missouri opposite Fort Leavenworth, where on January 
29, 1837, he baptized fourteen children of the tribe, all under four 
years of age. The first child to receive the sacrament was Susanna, 
daughter of Claude LaFramboise and a Potawatomi woman, and she 
had for godfather the business chief of the tribe, William Caldwell, 
the Sauganash of early Chicago history. Caldwell stood sponsor for 
two other infants. Other sponsors on the occasion, their names duly 
recorded in the Baptismal Register of the Kickapoo Mission, were 
Claude LaFramboise, Toussaint Chevalier, Joseph Chevalier, Francis 
Bourbonnet and Michael Arcoite. As a matter of fact, though the cir- 
cumstance, if he knew it, could scarcely have impressed him as par- 
ticularly significant, the missionary had before him a group of ex- 

13 Annates de la Propagation de la Foi, 9: 161. 

14 Missouri Province Archives. 

160 REV. G. J. GARRi\GHAN, S.J. 

citizens of Chicago, some of whose names appear on the poll-book 
of the election of 1826, the first in the history of the metropolis.'^ 

Father Van Quickenborne died August 17, ,1837, without having 
realized his plans for a Potawatomi mission. But the project was not 
suffered to lapse. Father Verhaegen, Superior of the Missouri Mis- 
sion, of the Society of Jesus, wrote under date of August 5, 1837, to 
the Secretary of War : 

"While at Washington in September 1835, the Rev. Mr. Van 
Quickenborne soHcited the favor of forming an establishment among 
the Pottawatomies and stated what the Society would be able to effect 
towards the accomplishment of the benevolent views of the Govern- 
ment for their civilization. The application was then premature. I be- 
lieve it is no longer so. Permit me therefore, dear Sir, to renew the 
petition which was then made. I am ready to send to fhem two rnis- 
sionaries with a teacher. General Gaines held lately a council during 
which the subject of this my application was discussed by the chiefs 
and the principal men of the nation; they expressed a great desire to 
have a Catholic establishment among them and they will shortly send 
you a petition detailing the grounds on which they base their appli- 

Col. Benton promised me to lay before the Department several 
questions on which I consulted him. I trust, dear Sir, that actuated by 
the earnest desire which the Government has always manifested for 
the welfare of the Indian, you will have the goodness to consider the 
subject." ^^ 
The petition of the Potawatomi chief reads as follows : 

"To his Excellency, the Secretary of the War Department: 
The petition of the undersigned chief and warriors of the Pot- 
tawatomie nation respectfully represent : 

1. That in the course of a few months everything necessary for their 
permanent location in their new lands will be procured and that 

agreeably to the benevolent intentions of the Government they are 
disposed to better their situation by the introduction of the domestic 
arts and education among them. 

2. "That a school being necessary for the instruction of their children, 
they wish to see one established among them with the least possible 

3. That they desire this school to be conducted by missionaries sent 
to them by the Catholic Missionary Society of Missouri, because 
many of the nation have embraced the Catholic religion and will 
by this arrangement be enabled to enjoy the comforts of their 

15 Father Van Ouickenborne's baptisms among the Potawatomi near Fort Leaven- 
worth in January, 1837, were entered by him in the Kickaf^oo Mission Register now in 
the Archives of St. Mary's College, Kansas. The location of the Potawatomi camp was 
within the limits of the triangular strip of land along the east bank of the M'ssouri 
subsequently known as the Platte Purchase. Though this tract was not included in the 
reserve assigned the Potawatomi by the treaty of 1833, the Indians on leaving Chicago 
were conducted thither by the contractors in charge of the emigration, presumably be- 
cause the Indians could not be induced to occupy their Iowa lands, which reports had 
led them to believe to be undesirable. The Potawatomi, however, were never anything 
but trespassers on the Platte Purchase and were compelled at length (1837) to vacate 
it and move up into their officially assigned reserve in southwestern Iowa. See Babbitt, 
Early Days at Council Bluffs, Washington, 1916, p. 26. For data concerning the religious 
status of the "Chicago" Potawatomi, see Illinois Catholic Historical Review. 1: 156. 

16 Edmund Pendleton Gaines, 0777—1849). hero of the war of 
1812 and of the Indian wars in Florida. Father Verhaegen had formed an acquaintance 
with him in St. Louis. 

17 Files of the Indian Bureau. Washington. Thomas Hart Benton, U. S. Senator from 
Missouri, 1821 — 51, had years earlier become associatevl with the St. Louis Jesuits 
through his efforts to obtain for St. Louis University a township of land to serve as a 
basis for an endowment fund. See St. Louis Catholic Historical Review, 1: 99. 


4. That the common feeling of the nation is in favor of the CathoUc 
clergy, who, speaking the English and the French languages, can 
fully second the execution of the plan which the Government pro- 
poses to itself for the amelioration of their nation." 
Signed in the presence of 

B. D. Moon, Capt. ist D. Wa Bon Su 

Wm. McPherson PjErish La Claire 

B. Caldwell [Ten signatures] 

B. R. Hunt, Agt. 

Fountain Blue on the Ea^t 
Side of the Missouri near 
Council Bluffs. 
12th September, 1837.18 

The Potawatomi petition duly marked with the crosses of the 
chiefs, was sent to Father Verhaegen, who in turn transmitted it to 
the Secretary of War ^^. Months passed by bqt no answer came 
from Washington. Meanwhile, Father Hoecken, of the Kickapoo 
Mission, was advised from Council Blufifs that the Indians were 
anxiously awaiting the missionary The materials for a church were at 
hand. A tract of land was promised to the Fathers and the old fort, 
now the government issue house, offered to them for a residence by the 
commanding officer. Col. Kearney. The author of the Annual Letters 
for 1837 notes that everything as far as <the Society of Jesus is con- 
cerned is ready for the opening of the mission. The onlv thing lacking 
is the sanction of the Government. 

For some reason or other the sanction of the government con- 
tinued to be withheld. At length Father Verhaegen, tired of waiting 
for instructions from Washington, determined in the spring of 1838 
to press the business in person at the capital. Two days before setting 
out he acquainted Bishop Rosati with the purpose of his journey : 
"I have just arrived here, with the intention of going on to Wash- 
ington, to leave for Louisville. The interests of the Indian Mission make 
this trip absolutely necessary. I have written to the Government offi- 
cials, but to no purpose ; these gentlemen know how to keep silence, 
when their plans require it. More than seven hundred Indians who 
have become Catholics urgently demand a Catholic establishment in 

18 This document is in the files of the Indian Bureau, Washington. The Catholic 
Missionary Society of Missouri was a designation occasionally attached in official papers 
and correspondence of the period to the Jesuit Vice-Province of Missouri. 

The two names, Wa Bon Su (Wah-bon-seh, Wabansia) and Pierish (Pierre) La Clair 
(Le Claire, Le Clerc) are those of chiefs pominent in Potawatomi history. Wa Bon Su 
remained at peace with the whites in the Black Hawk War of 1832. He was one of 
the orators of the Potawatomi delegation that went to Washington in 1845 to negotiate 
favorable terms for the cession of the Iowa reserve. "Stately old Wah-bon-seh, with the 
snows of eighty winters on his head," so he is described by Richard Smith Elliott, the 
Indian agent who piloted the delegation to Washington. (Elliott, Notes taken in Sixty 
Years, S't. Louis, 1883, p. 198.) Pierish Le Clair, a half-breed, was present at the Fort 
Dearborn massacre of 1812 and in the capacity of interpretor negotiated the terms of 
the transfer.A daughter of his, according to Elliott, was educated in the Sacred Heart 
Convent of St. Louis. Le Clair was also one of the Potawatomi orators that appeared 
in Washington in 1845 to discuss the cession of the Iowa reserve to the Government. 
"Peerish Le Clair, in Indian lingo, was to refer to some former treaties, the promises 
of which had not been kept by the government, and was to expatiate on the charms of 
the country about Chicago, where the frogs in the marshes sang more sweetly than birds 
in other parts — a land of beauty which they had ceded to the government for a mere 
trifle, although it had been their home so long that they had traditions of Pierrot, the 
first white man who ever set foot upon it, two hundred years before." Elliott, op. cit., 
p. 208. Pierish Le Claire died on the Kaw River Reserve in 1848, being attended in, his 
last moments by a Jesuit priest from St. Mary's Potawatomi Mission. 

19 Account in French by Father Verhaegen, dated St. Louis, June 20, 1838; repro- 
duced in abridged form in Annates dc la Propagation de la Foi, 1838. 


their midst. The Government promised it to Father Van Quickenborne 
and now the letters I wrote to the Secretary of the Indian Bureau 
remain without an answer. I will make the ears of the guilty ones tingle 
a little. Besides, experience has convinced me that without many 
privileges, the work of spri-eading the Faith among the Indians can- 
not succeed. These privileges I shall try to obtain." ^o 

The season of navigation was scarcely open, when on March 10 
Father Verhaegen left St. Louis for the East. The Mississippi river 
steamer that carried him had her wheels roughly used by the ice-floes 
that continued to move down stream. From Wheeling he travelled by 
stage over the AUeghanies. There were three feet of snow in the 
mountain districts and the stage-driver was hard put to it to keep to 
the obliterated highway. At last on March 23, only thirteen days out 
from St. Louis, Father Verhaegen was safely lodged with his brethren 
at Georgetown College. 

Without loss of time, he set himself to the business that had brought 
him to Washington. In company wuth his friend. Secretary Benton, he 
presented himself with a carefully drawn-up petition at the War De- 
partment. But the Secretary of War was ill at his residence and an 
interview with him could not be arranged. The two Missourians pro- 
ceeded then to the White House and here Senator Benton introduced 
his Jesuit friend to President Van Buren, who conversed pleasantly 
with him for half an hour. M. Nicollet a French geographer and 
scientist in the U. S. government service, and a visitor at St. Louis 
University in the course of his Western travels, took a lively interest 
in Father Verhaegen's plans. ^^ He tried several times to secure an 
interview for the Father with the Secretary of War. but the latter's 
illness continued to stand in the way. However, M. Nicollet succeeded 
in inducing Brigadier General Gratiot to take a hand in the affair.^^ 
Accompanied by the General and bearing a letter of introduction from 
Senator Ben'ton, Father Verhaegen now called on Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs Crawford and laid before him his project of a Pot- 
awatomi mission. A communication from the Commissioner dated the 
following day informed the Superior that his petition had been grant- 
ed. In particular, he was to be allowed to establish a mission-post 
among the Potawatomi and to visit either personally or through his 
subordinates all the tribes settled within the limits of the Indian ter- 
ritory. In one respect only did his negotiations fail. His petition for 
a subsidy in behalf of a Potawatomi school was denied on the ground 
that the Potawatomi had not as yet occupied the land assigned to 
them by the government treaty. 

20 St. Louis Archdiocesan Archives. 

21 Jean Nicolas Nicollet, born in Cliises, Savoy, July 24, 1786. Explored the valleys 
of the Red, Arkansas, Missouri and Upper Mississippi Rivers; of the last-named stream 
he determined the sources. Letters addressed by him to Father De Smet are in Chit- 
tenden and Richardson's Dc Smet, 4: 1549, 1552. 

22 Rrigadier-General Charles Gratiot (1788 — 1855), distinguished soldier of the War 
of 1812, and member of one of the pioneer families of St. Louis. He was for a period 
inspector of West Point and chief engineer of the army engineering bureau in Wasli- 
ington. It was under his direction that Col. Robert E. Lee constructed certain works on 
Bloody Island in the Mississippi to protect the harbor of St. Louis. 



His mission thus accomplished, Father Verhaegen started at once 
for the West. An incident, terribly common in steamboat travelling 
before the Civil War, marked his homeward journey. One hundred 
and ten miles from St. Louis, one of the boilers of the steamer on 
which he was a passenger exploded. Fortunately, the engineer's 
presence of mind enabled him to give warning of the impending danger 
and the accident passed off without loss of human life, the disabled 
craft being towed to shore by passing steamers. On April 25, only 
six weeks since his departure from St. Louis for the East, Father 
Verhaegen called a meeting of his official advisers, Father Elet, De 
Theux and Van de Velde in St. Louis University and laid before 
them the results of his visit to Washington. All were of opinion that 
a Potawatomi mission should be started without delay at Council 
Bluffs, and Fathers Verreydt and Paillasson, with Brother Mazella 
were named for the initial personnel. Later, at Father De Theux's 
private suggestion, the Superior substituted Father Peter De Smet 
for Father Paillasson.-^ The altered choice had significance, for it 
marked the almost accidental entry into Indian missionary life of 
one destined to become the most conspicuous figure among Catholic 
Indian missionaries of the United States. General William Clark, an 
old friend of the Jesuit Indian missions, lent ready encouragement 
and support to the new venture. He at once prepared the passports 
necessary for all whites entering the Indian country and instructed 
the sub-agent at Council Bluffs to lend the missionaries all possible 
protection and to aid them to the best of his ability to make their enter- 
prise a success.^* 

Preparations to equip and send off the missionary party were 
now made with surprising rapidity. Only eight days had elapsed since 
Father Verhaegen's return from Washington when he left St. Louis, 
May 23, 1838, on the steamer Howard, in company with Fathers De 
Smet, Helias, Eysvogels and Brother Claessens. Of the party Father 
De Smet was the only one bound for Council Bluffs. Father Helias 
was on his way to the vicinity of Jefferson City, there to inaugurate 
a period of missionary and parochial activity extending over thirty- 
five years. Father Eysvogels was to replace Father Verreydt at the 
Kickapoo village, while Brother Claessens was to replace Brother 
Mazella at the same post. The voyage up the Missouri was not with- 
out incident. On the fourth day the steamer's engine broke down, with 
the result that the engineer had to leave his disabled craft and return 
to St. Louis to repair the broken fitting. Meantime, Sunday came and 
the passengers, about a hundred in number from various parts of 
the United States, asked Father Verhaegen to preach for them in the 
ship's cabin. He agreed and even invited them to suggest a text. They 

23 Liber Consvltatioyium. Father Verreydt and Brother Mazella were at this time 
stationed at the Kickapoos Mission near Fort Leavenworth. 

24 General William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Superintendent of 
Indian AiTairs with headquarters in St. Louis. His issuing of passports to Fathers Ver- 
reydt and De Smet was the last service he was called upon to render to Catholic mis- 
sionaries, as he died shortly after, September, 1838. 


gave him the words of Ecclesiastes, ii, 2, "If the tree fall to the North 
or to the South, there shall it lie." The priest was not disconcerted. 
"Like a good soldier in the field," he observes in narrating the in- 
cident, "I had my arms with me." He adjusted his text to the sub- 
ject of purgatory and preached for an hour to an interested audience. 
After a delay of several days, the engineer was again with his boat, 
which once more started up stream. She had made about forty miles, 
•when the machinery collapsed a second time. There was no way out 
of this fresh predicament but for the engineer to return again to St. 
Louis with the attachment that had caused all the trouble. Falther 
Verhaegen got off the boat at Independence, while Father De Smet 
and his two companions were left on board to watch the baggage and 
continue their way by water as far as Fort Leavenworth. From In- 
dependence Father Verhaegen, having purchased a horse, made his 
way by land to Fort Leavenworth. He arrived there four days after 
leaving the steamer and almost at the same moment that the steamer 
herself put in at the Fort. Leaving Father De Smet to superintend the 
landing of the party's baggage, he proceeded with Father Eysvogels 
and Brother Claessens to the Kickapoo mission-house. Early the next 
morning he sent a horse to the Fort for Father De Smet, but the 
latter in his eagerness to reach his brethren had started off on his own 
account only to lose his way in the tangled woodland. It was Father 
De Smet's introduction to the perils of the Indian country. Late in the 
afternoon he found himself to his great relief at the mission-house, 
only about five miles distant from the Fort.^' 

There was doubt at first whether the two Fathers and the Brother 
assigned to the Potawatomi mission would be able to find a steamer 
to take them the rest of the way to Council Bluffs. Fortunately, the 
Wilmington, a government transport, was soon to leave Fort Leaven- 
worth for the Upper Missouri. On May 25 the missionary party ac- 
cordingly left Fort Leavenworth on board the Wilmington and ar- 
rived at Council Bluffs on the afternoon of May 31. On their way up 
stream the travellers passed through the country of the Kickapoo, 
Sauks, Iowa and Ottowa. The physical aspects of the region, as well 
as the characteristics and customs of the Indians fell under Father 
De Smet's accurate observation. He was indeed a born observer with 
a talent for literary portrayal surprising in one who never made a 
profession of letters. The account which he wrote to Father Verhaegen 
immediately on his arrival at Council Bluffs was the first in the long 
series of descriptive and narrative sketches of Indian mission-life 
that were to be read with eager interest by thousands on both sides 
of the Atlantic. 

'We arrived among the Potawatomies on the afternoon of the 31st 
of May. Nearly 2,000 savages, in their finest rigs and carefully painted 
in all sorts of patterns, were awaiting the boat at the landing. I had 
not seen so imposing a sight nor such fine-looking Indians in America: 
the lowas, the Sauks and the Otoes are beggars compared to these. 
Father Verreydt and Brother Mazella went at once to the camp of the 

25 French account by Father Verhaegen. Cf. note 19. 


half-breed chief, Mr. Caldwell, four miles from the river. We were 
far from finding here the four or five hundred fervent Catholics we 
had been told of at the College of St. Louis. Of the 2,000 Potawatomies 
who were at the landing, not a single one seemed to have the slightest 
knowledge of our arrival among them, and they all showed themselves 
cold or at least indifferent toward us. Out of some thirty families of 
French half-breeds two only came to shake hands with us ; only a few 
have been baptized. All are very ignorant concerning the truths of re- 
ligion; they cannot even make the sign of the cross nor say a pater 
or an ave. This, as I suppose, is the cause of their great reserve toward 
us. They change their wives as often as the gentlemen of St. Louis 
change their coats. 

"A fortnight after we arrived we discovered one single Catholic 
Indian ; he came to see us and asked our blessing. We tried to get himi 
to stay with us; he knew his prayers well and could serve us for a 

"Mr. [Caldwell] though far advanced in years, seems to be a very 
worthy honest man; he is well disposed towards us and ready to assist 
us. The half-breeds geenrally seem affable and inclined to have their 
children instructed, and we receive many tokens of affection from the 
Indians themselves ; they come to see us every day. The chi^f has given 
us possession of three cabins and we have changed the fort which 
Col. Kearney has given us into a church." 26 

26 Richardson and Chittenden's De Smet, 1: 157, 158. Caldwell's village was distant 
about four miles north slightly by east from the steam-boat landing which was in a 
very deep bend of the Missouri. The straightening out of this bend some years later 
brought Lake Manawa into existence and left the river-bank at a further distance from 
the village of two or three miles. Caldwell's camp or village was laid out within the 
present town-limits of Council Bluffs and, it would appear, around the government block- 
house as a centre. This block-house was built under instructions from Col. Kearney of 
Fort Leavenworth, by Company C of the first Regiment of Dragoons, Captain D. B. 
Moore in command, sometime between August and November, 1837, for the purpose 
of affording protection to the Potawatomi from the hostile tribes to the North. The 
block-house, having served for a while as an issue-house for government supplies and 
being found no longer necessary for the purpose for which it was built, was turned over 
by Col. Kearney to the Jesuit missionaries, who converted it into a chapel, the first 
house dedicated to Catholic worship in Western Iowa. In Babbitt's Early Days in Coun- 
cil Bluffs, p. 59, is a suppositious picture of the "Old Blockhouse" with the following 

"By this picture attempt is made to depict the old block-house as it probably ap- 
peared when completed by Captain D. P. Moore in 1837, together with the blunt nose 
of bluff wheron it stood. No portholes are shown because there was no reason why any 
should have been originally provided. United States troops did not ordinarily employ 
cannon in the control of the Indians at that early day, and it is not probable that the 
same was furnished the Potawatomies for their protection. The building was a simple 
hewn-log structure, twenty-four feet square, without openings on the north and west 
sides except loop-holes for small-arms fire. After it came into the possession of the 
Jesuit missionaries small windows were cut in those sides, which were afterwards taken 
by some to have been portholes for cannon fire. The folly of such belief is apparent 
upon consideration of the size and character of the building, and what would probably 
have happened to the occupants had a large gun been fired from within. No frontier block- 
house, even at the largest of th government military posts, appear to have been con- 
structed with a view to firing cannon from within. When cannon were provided for such 
posts they were usually mounted outside the buildings in bastions especially designed for 
the purpose." 

Besides the blockhouse, the missionaries were in possession of three little cabins, 
the gift of Caldwell. "We have a fine little chapel, twenty-four feet square, surmounted 
with a little belfry," Father De Smet wrote July 20, 1838; "four poor little cabins be- 
sides made of rough logs; they are fourteen feet each way, with roof of rude rafters, 
which protect us from neither rain nor hail, and still less from snow in winter." In 1839 
the chapel was enlarged and in the same year a new house was built by the missionaries. 

The location of the block-house and other mission-buildings has been definitely as- 
certained. The "Old Fort" or "Mission House" with other buildings used for mission 
purposes stood upon the West half of the Southwest quarter of S'ection 30, Township 
75 North, of Range 43 West, Fifth Principal Meridian, op. cit.. 5. 57. The Rev. Francis 
B. Cassilly, S. J., of Creighton Universitv, Omaha, who investigated the site at the end 
of 1916 writes in his brochure. The Old Jesuit Mission of Council Bluffs, p. 2; 

"Our story is concerned with this spur of land, which may well be called a sacred 
spot, for on it tradition and reliable historical documents tell us rested the first church 


August 20, 1838 Father DeSmet communicated to his Superior 
in St. Louis, Father Verhaegen, further particulars on the progress of 
the Mission : 

"I think I told you, the first time I wrote you, that I had already 
baptized twenty-two persons. To-day the number of those upon whom 
I have had the consolation of conferring holy baptism amounts to 
seventy-six, among whom I reckon thirty-four adults of ages from 
twelve to sixty years. I am sure your Reverence would be touched to 
see with what fervor these good Indians assist at the holy sacrifice and 
with what docility they listen to our instructions. For my part, I assure 
you that I see the work of God in it and that I feel penetrated with 
gratitude toward those who by their prayers cease not to obtain for us 
from heaven these unexpected successes. One of our first conquests for 
Jesus Christ was the spouse of the head chief of the Potawatomi nation. 
She enjoys the greatest consideration among the Indians, and I venture 
to hope that her example will have a great influence upon the rest of 
her compatriots. Since I could not at the beginning express myself with 
sufficient facility, I was obliged for several weeks to make use of an 
interpreter. As soon as I found her well enough instructed and dis- 
posed, I admitted her to the sacrament of regeneration, which she re- 
ceived with all signs of the liveliest faith and the most ardent piety. 
Eight other persons, who had imitated her example, shared her happi- 

"A short time afterward, on the 9th of August, a young person of 
eighteen years of age, who had long been sick, came over six miles to 
see me. She seemed in a state, of extreme exhaustion when I saw her 
in the church. 'Father,' she said, 'I have a great presentiment that my 
end is near ; I know that you are the Great Spirit's minister, and I have 
made a great effort today to come and beg you to show me the road 
that leads to heaven.' I spent several hours in instructing her in the most 
essential dogmas of our holy religion, and as I found her fully dis- 
posed to receive holy Baptism, I thought it my duty to bestow it upon 
her at once. I have never seen a person so self-possessed, so modest, 
so deeply touched during the administration of the holy sacrament. 
After the ceremony she said to me: "Oh! now, until my last breath, 
I shall love the Great Spirit with all my heart, and sTiall honor his 
good Mother with a daughter's love. Oh! I am happy in this moment!" 

"On the 13th of the same month, an Indian woman, brought me 
her little child ,who was sick, praying me to baptize it. 'Alas !' said the 
poor woman, 'I had another son, and he died without having received 
this favor and it would break my heart should this one be likewise 
exiled from the paradise of the Great Spirit'. Among those whom I have 
baptized are a Protestant lady and her child; she is now one of the 
most fervent of Catholics; all the others are Indians or half-breeds, 
who do not know even the name of our holy religion. There are a 
few families besides who are preparing to receive the same favor. My 
companion. Reverend Father Verreydt, lately visited a village belonging 

and school of Council Bluffs and Western Iowa. The location of the mission buildings 
and attached graveyard was mainly in the two blocks now bounded by Broadway on the 
north, Voorhis Street on the south, Union Street on the east and Franklin Avenue and 
State Street on the west. Pierce Street intersects the site. No doubt the graveyard, which 
is mentioned by Father De Smet in his correspondence, and which continued in use 
after the abandonment of the miss'on, overlapped these boundaries, as the finding of 
bodies indicate. On the northern block the Clausen residence, an old-time building, stands 
approximately on the site of the old mission-church; the rear block is now occupied by 
the Pierce public school." Very close to the mission-site was a spring, probably the one 
still existing at the foot of the hill a few feet southwest from the corner of Broadway 
and Union Streets. The Catholic Mission at Council Bluffs appears under the name St. 
Joseph's in letters written from the Mission by Father De Smet. In a letter of the mis- 
sionarv[s of much later date (1867) the mission is called St. Mary's. 
Richardson and Chittenden's De Smet, 1; 168. 


to the mission, where they promised to let him baptize all the little 

"The feast we have just been celebrating in honor of the assump- 
tion of the glorious queen of heaven will never be forgotten in this mis- 
sion ; it was celebrated in a poor wooden church, but I can assure you 
that no place in the world ever offered a more consoling spectacle nor 
one more agreeable to the Almighty and his most holy mother. 

"In the afternoon of that day 1 baptized eleven adults and a little 
Indian girl who was sick. Three of these adults had already reached 
their fiftieth year; five were twenty, and three about fifteen years old. 
All exhibited during the ceremony a great deal of piety and fervor. 
Afterward we sang together several canticles to praise and bless the 
Lord's mercies. At the close of the ceremony, four couples received 
the nuptial benediction according to the Catholic rite. All who were 
present were so touched with what they had seen and heard that, yield- 
ing to the grace of the Holy Spirit, they demanded urgently to be 
instructed. Among this number was an old Indian woman belonging 
to the great medicine band, who, as soon as she reached home, imme- 
diately destroyed her medicine bundle. Going toward evening to visit 
a newly converted family, we were agreeably surprised and edified to 
find all the adults and several others besides assembled to recite in 
common the most fervent prayers, and to thank the Lord for the signal 
favors that he had granted them that day. I cannot conceal from you, 
dear Father, that in no circumstance of my life have I ever felt, myself, 
more joy and consolation than in this happy moment." 27 


In the event the CathoHc missionaries among the Potawatomi of 
Council Bluffs were not to achieve any substantial measure of suc- 
cess. As among the Kickapoo, so among the Potawatomi, the drink 
evil assumed frightful proportions, frustrating the labors of the 
missionaries and making it very unlikely that any permanent good 
could be effected among the tribe. Interesting and graphic accounts 
of the havoc wrought among the Indians by whiskey are to be found 

27 Schools for the Potawatomi children were maintained by the missionaries, but 
without government subsidy. "We have opened a school," Father De Smet informed 
Father Roothaan, the Jesuit General, a few weeks after the arrival of larger quarters we 
(Richardson and Chittenden's De Smet, p. 164), "but for the lack of larger quarters we 
are only able to receive some thirty children. Twice a day we give an instruction to 
those whom we are preparing for baptism." The Annual Letters for 1839 give a rather 
glowing account of the results obtained in the school. The boys, as everybody acknowledg- 
es, are changed into entirely new beings. People marvel to see so many boys studying 
from morning to night, singing hymns composed by the missionaries, reciting the rosary, 
and assisting at religious instructions twice a day. S'o tenacious is the memory of the 
boys that they can remember prayers heard only twice. A choir made up of forty of 
their number sing hymns in English, French, Latin and Potawatomi. No other school 
except the Catholic one was kept on the reserve. Sub-agent Cooper's report dated in the 
fall of 1840 has the following: "Schools there are none here under the authority of the 
government There are two Roman Catholic priests residing within my agency, of good 
moral character, who set a good example to the Indians and half-breeds. They have a 
chapel, and school and teacher, and have several young Ind'ans in the school, who are 
coming on pretty well." (Senate Document, 26th Congress, 2nd Session, vol. 1, page 397). 
A letter of Cooper's to Joshua Pilcher, Superintendent of Indian Affairs at St. Louis, 
complaining that he was unable to secure any boys from his agency for the Choctaw 
Academy in Kentucky, as he had been requested by the Indian Department to do, brings 
out the fact that Potawatomi parents were averse to patronizing any but Catholic schools. 
"I then urged strongly the cause of objecting, but was not able to draw it from them. 
I feel it my duty to give, in my opinion, the cause of the opposition I have met with 
in the case. It is the undue and unbounded influence of the Catholic religion among the 
people — thev being all Roman Catholics and determined not to patronize anything that 
is not of that persuasion — I have tried to pick up the boys throughout the country, but 
have met with an entire failure." Cooper to Pilcher, May 14, 1840. Letter Books of the 
St. Louis Siiperifitendency of Indian Affairs in Library of the Kansas Historical Society, 
Topeka, Kansas. 


in a journal of Father De Smet, whose unequivocal testimony on the 
subject is corroborated by testimonies of like tenor from Father Ver- 
reyedt and the Indian Agent, Stephen Cooper.-^ 

"May 30. Arrival of the steamer Wilmington with provisions. A war of 
extermination appears preparing around the poor Potawatomies. Fifty- 
large cannons have been landed, ready charged with the most murder- 
ous grape shot, each containing thirty gallons of whiskey, brandy, rum 
or alcohol. The boat was not yet out of sight when the skirmishes 
commenced. After the fourth, fifth and sixth discharges, the confusion 
became great and appalling. In all directions, men, women and children 
were seen tottering and falling; the war-whoop, the merry Indian's 
song,cries, savage roarings, formed a chorus. Quarrel succeeded quarrel. 
Blows followed blows. The club, the tomahawk, spears, butcher knives, 
brandished together in the air. Strange! astonishing! only one man, 
in this dreadful affray, was drowned in the Missouri, another severely 
stabbed, and several noses lost. The prominent point, as you well know, 
the Potawatomies particularly aim at when well corned. 

I shuddered at the deed. A squaw offered her little boy four years 
old to the crew of the boat for a few bottles of whiskey. 

I know from good authority that upwards of eighty barrels of 
whiskey are on the line ready to be brought in at the payment. 

No agent here seems to have the power to put the laws in execution. 

May 31. Drinking all day. Drunkards by the dozen. Indians are selling 
horses, blankets, guns, their all to have a lick at the cannon. Four 
dollars a bottle ! Plenty at that price ! Detestable traffic. 

June 3. A woman with child, mother of four young children, was murder- 
ed this morning near the issue-house. Her body presented the most 
horrible spectacle of savage cruelty; she was literally cut up. 

June 4. Burial of the unhappy woman. Among the provisions placed in 
her grave were several bottles of Whiskey. A good idea if all had been 
buried with her. 

June 6. Rumor. Four lowas, three Potawatomies, one Kickapoo are said 
to have been killed in drunken frolics. 

June 18. Arrival of a sub-agent, Mr. Cowper [Cooper]. His presence seems 
to keep the whiskey sellers in some awe. 'Don't know what he might or 
will do.' Secure the liquor in cages. The many murders committed act 
powerfully upon the minds of the Indians. They begged the agent in 
council to prevent the poison being brought among them. 

Aug. 8. Arrival of the St. Peter's with the annuities. 

Aug. 19. Annuities $90,000. Divided to the Indians. Great gala. Wonder- 
ful scrapings of traders to obtain Indian credits. 

Aug. 20. Since the day of payment, drunkards are seen and heard in all 
places. Liquor is rolled out to the Indians by whole barrels; sold by 
white men even in the presence of the agent. Wagon loads of the 

28 "The civilization of these tribes has made but little progress within the last year. 
There is neither farmer nor school-tacher employed by the Government in this agency> 
and but one blacksmith and his assistant a half-breed. They cannot supply near all the 
wants of the Indians, and their shop and buildings are in bad condition, the Government 
having furnished no means for the erection of these buildings. ..... 

The principal reason of these people not progressing farther in civilization is ardent 
spirits, which are kept along the line of the state of Missouri, and conveyed into the 
Indian country by the half-breeds. 

The whiskey trade has increased double this season and cannot be prevented by 
your Indian agents, unless they can have aid from tlie Government. The Indians will sell 
anything for liquor; not infrequently bartering off his horses, guns and blankets for 
whiskey. This practice is increasing rapidly, and the ruin of the nation is certain unless 
a stop can be put to the introduction of spirituous liquors." Report of Peter Cooper, 
Oct. 2, 1841. For Father Verreydt's testimony on this subject, see \nfra. p. 


abominable stuff arrive daily from the settlements, and along with it 
the very dregs of our white neighbors and voyageurs of the moun- 
tams, drunkards, gamblers, etc., etc. Three horses have been brought to 
the ground and killed with axes. Two more noses were bitten off and 
a score of other horrible mutilations have taken place. Two women 
are dangerously ill of bad usage." 29 

In a letter written in July, 1839, to a Carmelite nun, Superior of 
the Orphanage in Termonde , Belgium, Father De Smet's native town, 
the missionary recurs to the topic of the Indian's fatal weakenss for 

"Our congregation already amounts to about 300. At Easter we had 
fifty candidates for the first communion. I recommend, in a very special 
manner, these poor Indians, that they maintain their fervor. The dangers 
and scandals which surround them are very great. I have remarked in 
one of my preceding letters that one of the principal obstacles to the 
conversion of the savages is drinking. The last boat brought them a 
quantity of liquors. Already fourteen among them are cut to pieces 
in the most barbarous manner, and are dead. A father seized his own 
child by the legs and crushed it, in the presence of its mother, by dash- 
ing it against the post of his lodge. Two others most cruelly murdered 
an Indian woman, a neighbor of ours, and mother of four children. 
We live in the midst of the most disgusting scenes. 

The passion of the savages for strong drink is inconceivable. They 
give horses, blankets, all, in a word, to have a little of this brutalizing 
liquid. Their drunkenness only ceases when they have nothing more 
to drink. Some of our neophytes have not been able to resist this ter- 
rible torrent, and have allowed themselves to be drawn into it. I wrote 
an energetic letter to the Government against these abominable traf- 
fickers. Join your prayers to our efforts to obtain from Heaven the ces- 
sation of this frightful commerce, which is the misery of the savages 
in every relation." *° 

In the same letter from which the preceding extract is cited Father 
De Smet tells graphically of the sinking of a steamer within sight of 
Council Bluffs with considerable supplies on board for the missionaries 
and the Indians. 

"First, I will narrate to you the great loss that we experienced 
towards the end of April. Our Superior sent us from St. Louis, goods 
to the amount of $500, in ornaments for the church, a tabernacle, a bell, 
and provisions and clothes for a year. I had been for a long time with- 
out shoes ,and from Easter we were destitute of supplies. All the 
Potawatomi nation were suffering from scarcity, having only acorns and 
a few wild roots for their whole stock of food. At last, about the 
20th of April, they announced to us that the much-desired boat was 
approaching. Already we saw it from the highest of our hills. I pro- 
cured, without delay, two carts to go for baggage. I reached there in 
time to witness a very sad sight. The vessel had struck on a sawyer, 
was pierced, and rapidly sinking in the waves. The confusion that 
reigned in the boat was great, but happily no lives were lost The total 
damage was valued at $40,000. All the provisions forwarded by Govern- 
ment to the savages were on board of her. Of our effects four articles 
were saved ; a plough, a saw, a pair of boots and some wine. Providence 
was still favorable to us. With the help of the plough we were enabled 
to plant a large field of corn; it was the season for furrowing. \Ve are 
using the saw to build a better house and enlarge our church, already 

29 From a letter to a "most dear friend" dated Potawatomi Nation. Council BluflFs. 
December 1839. Text in Richardson's and Chittenden s De Smet, 1. 171. 

30 Richardson and Chittenden's De Smet. I; 184. 


too small. With my boots I can walk in the woods and prairies without 
fear of being bitten by the serpents which throng there. And the wine 
permits us to offer to God every day the holy sacrifice of the Mass, a 
privilege that had been denied us during a long time. We therefore 
returned with courage and resignation to the acorns and roots until 
the 30th of May. That day another boat arrived. By that same steamer, 
I received news from you, as well as a letter from my family and from 
the good Carmelite superior." 3i 

On April 29 Father De Smet took passage on the St. Peter's, 
a steam-boat of the American Fur Company, then making its annual 
trip to the Yellowstone to carry supplies to the Indians and bring 
down their furs in return. He had planned to visit the Yankton Sioux 
in their village some 360 miles above Council Bluffs, in order to do a 
little missionary work among the tribe and attempt to establish re- 
lations of amity and peace between the latter and the Potawatomi, 
who ever since their arrival at Council Bluffs had lived in mortal 
dread of their bellicose neighbors to the North. To his great delight 
Father De Smet found on board the boat an old acquaintance, the 
mathematician and scientist, Jean Nicolas Nicollet, whom the reader 
will recall as the gentleman who lent his services to Father Verhaegen 
on the occasion of the latter's visit to Washington to secure Govern- 
ment approval and aid for the Council Bluffs Mission.^^ M. Nicollet was 
then on a scientific excursion to the region of the Upper Missouri, fol- 
lowing a trip of scientific exploration and research, which he had made 
the preceding year to the sources of the Mississippi with great suc- 
cess. Accompanying him were Lieutenant Fremont, the future "Path- 
finder," and Charles A. Geyer, a German naturalist of considerable 
distinction in the scientific world. Father De Smet had a very high re- 
gard for the ability and scholarly attainments of Nicollet, but not 
more than the facts seemed to warrant. "His work will be a treasure 
for the literary world. He is a very deeply learned man and a liberal 
Catholic at the same time, who examines his subject on the spot and 
spares neither time nor pains nor his purse to go to the bottom of 
the matter he writes upon. He made a present of several instruments, 
thermometers, barometers, compass, etc., to take observations during 
the summer, to aid those he was making in the upper country."^^ 

31 Id. I; 184. Richardson and Chittenden conjecture that the wrecked steamer was 
the annual boat of the American Fur Company to the mouth of the Yellowstone. Though 
its name cannot be identified from the list of Steamboat wrecks on the Missouri River 
in the Annual Report of the Missouri River Commission for 1897, >t was very probably 
the Pirate reported by the St. Louis Republican under date of May 6. 1839, as having been 
snagged and lost seven miles below Council Bluffs. It would appear that the boat was 
subsequently raised. 

32 Cf. note 21. 

33 In a"Report intended to illustrate a map of the Hydrographic Basin of Upper 
Mississippi River, made by J. N. Nicollet while in employ under the Bureau of the Corps 
Topographical Engineers'^ (Senate Document No. 237, 26th Congress, 2nd session), Nicol- 
let testifies to the accuracy of the barometric observations taken by Father De Smet at 
Council Bluffs. "The station at Camp Kearney, Council Bluffs, was occupied by the vener- 
able missionaries, Rev. Messrs. De Staet and Verreydt. I furnished them with a barometer, 
well compared with that of Dr. Engelman at St. Louis, and my own and delivered it 
at their missionary-station in good condition, Mr. De Smet, with whom I had passed 
some days of travel on the Missouri, soon made himself acquainted with the manner of 
taking observations; and proved it. in furnishing me with a four-month series, made with 
a care that the most scrupulous examination could only confirm and embracing the period 
between the 17th of May and 17th of September. 1839, an interval during which I was 
exploring the Northwest." 


Having in the course of the voyage instructed and baptized on 
board the steamer a woman and her three children and heard the 
confessions of a number of voyageurs bound for the Rocky Moun- 
tains, Father De Smet arrived May 11 at the Yankton village. Here 
he met the Yankton chiefs and warriors in council and was hospitably 
entertained by them at a feast, at which he took occasion to discuss 
with them the principal object of his visit, the establishment of a 
durable peace between them and his spiritual children, the Potawatomi. 
His efforts met with success. He persuaded the Sioux to make pres- 
ents to the children of the Potawatomi warriors they had killed and to 
agree to visit the Potawatomi and smoke with them the calumet of 
peace. In the evenng of the same day on which the council was held 
he explained the Apostle's Creed to the Indians and baptized a great 
number of their children. His mission thus accomplished, he seized 
the first opportunity of returning to Council Bluffs, making the down- 
stream voyage in the only craft he found available, a dugout, or 
hollowed-out log, ten feet long by one and a half wide. Guided by 
two skilful pilots, and travelling from four o'clock in the morning 
to sunset, the frail bark covered the 360 miles to Council Bluffs in 
three days.^* 

From the baptismal and marriage registers of St. Joseph's Mis- 
sion we are able to gather data concerning the ministry of the Fathers 
during the three years that the Mission was maintained. The baptisms 
during this period numbered 308. The first recorded is that of Cath- 
erine Bourbonne[t], a Potawatomi, on June 9, 1838. She is the first 
person whose baptism at Council Bluffs is attested by documentary 
evidence. All baptismal entries up to February 8, 1840, are in Father 
De Smet's handwriting. Caldwell, the principal business chief of the 
nation, was god-father to John Naakeze, baptized December 29, 1838, 
at the age approximately of 102. The last baptism in the mission register 
is in Father Eysvogel's hand and bears date July 17, 1841.^*^ 

The first entries in the marriage register are dated August 15, 
1838. On that day Father De Smet joined in Christian wedlock Pierre 
Chevalier and Kwi-wa-te-no-lue, and Louis Wilmot [Ouilmette] and 
Maria Wa-wiet-wo-kue.^° As may be readily surmised, these are- the 
earliest certified marriages in the annals of Council Bluffs. The mar- 
riage ceremonies performed by Father De Smet at the Mission num- 
bered 20 in all, the last being dated January 5, 1840. After a stay of 
several months at the Novitiate whither he had returned from his 
Indians, broken down in health, Father Christian Hoecken, the found- 
er in 1838 of the Catholic Mission among the Osage River Potawatomi, 

34 Richardson and Chittenden's De Smet. 1: 190. 

35 The Baptismal and Marriage Registers of the Council Bluffs Mission are in the 
Archives of St. Mary's College, St. Mary's, Kansas. While stationed at Council Bluffs, 
Father De Smet baptized the Omaha chief Logan Fontanelle, then a child, and his 
mother, daughter of the Omaha chief. Big K\k. Richardson and Chittenden's De Smet, 
4: 1532. 

36 Louis Wilmot (Ouilmette) discharged for a while the duties of government inter- 
preter for the Council Bluff sub-agencv. His relative, Antoine Ouilmette, whose name is 
perpetuated in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette has been reputed Chicago s earliest white 
settler, having settled there according to his own account in 1790. 


was attached to St. Joseph's Mission in the summer of 1840. Four 
marriages are credited to him in the marriage register of the Mission, 
the earliest dated August 6, 1840 and the last January 28, 1841. 

In the summer of 1839 there arrived at Council Bluffs two young 
Flathead braves, who were making the long journey from their home- 
land west of the Rocky Mountains to St. Louis for the purpose of 
securing Catholic missionaries for their tribe. The zeal of Father De 
Smet was at once aroused and, disappointed as he was over conditions 
in the Potawatomi reserve and the prospects of future missionary 
labor in that quarter, he eagerly offered himself to answer the signal 
of spiritual distress that came at this opportune moment from the re- 
mote Nothwest. Father Verhaegen, the Jesuit Vice-Provincial in St. 
Louis, having determined to ascertain first what were the prospects 
held out by ithe new missionary field thus opened up to his Order, dis- 
missed the Flathead delegates with a promise that a missionary would 
be depatched to their tribe on a prospecting trip early in the coming 
spring. Father De Smet was commissioned to undertake this trip, ar- 
riving in St. Louis from Council Bluffs the last day of February, 1840. 
His status as resident missionary at Council Bluffs thus came to an 
end and he entered upon that period of intensive missionary effort 
on behalf of the Oregon Indians with which his career is most closely 
identified. Father De Smet left Westport at the mouth of the Kansas 
for the Rocky Mountains in April, 1840, discharged satisfactorily the 
purpose of his visit to the Flatheads, whom he found eagerly awaiting 
the advent of Catholic missionaries, and returned home by the Mis- 
souri River, making a stop in November at Council Bluffs where he 
found that during his absence conditions had taken on a more dis- 
couraging aspect than ever. 

"The very night of our arrival among our Fathers at Council 
Bluffs, the river closed. It would be in vain for me to attempt to tell 
what I felt at finding myself once more amidst our brothers, after hav- 
ing travelled 2,000 Flemish leagues, in the midst of the greatest 
dangers and across the territories of the most barbarous nations. I had, 
however, the grief of observing the ravages which unprincipled men, 
liquor-sellers, had caused in this budding mission. Drunkenness, with 
the invasion of the Sioux on the other hand, had finally dispersed my 
poor savages. While awaiting a more favorable turn of events, the good 
Fathers Verreydt and [Christian] Hoecken busy themselves witH the 
cares of their holy ministry among some fifty families that have had 
the courage to resist these two enemies. I discharged my commission 
to them from the Sioux, and I venture to hope that in future there 
will be quiet in that quarter." 37 

In the summer of 1841 the situation at Council Bluffs from the 
view-point of missionary endeavor continued to be distinctly discourag- 
ing. Writing in July to Father Van Assche at Florissant, Father Ver- 
reydt dwells on the conditions which were to result in a few weeks 
in the definite abandonment of the mission. 

"Our people here like us very much; but they do not want to 

listen to our good counsel. Getting drunk is the only fault they have; 

otherwise, we would live here in a Paradise. But now, in the condition 

37 Richardson and Chittenden's De Smet, 1: 358. 


they are, it is indeed very disagreeable to live among them. As you are 
at home in the charming business, could your Reverence "not give me 
a means to make fellows here sober men and sober women ; for women, 
as well as men, get tipsy whenever they have a chance. Oh, my friend', 
it looks very bad to see these poor creatures often like hogs wallowing 
in the mud. I think you have done very well not to have come out to 
these frontier places, where almost everbody is trying to delude and 
impose upon these poor creatures. Liquor is brought in here with whole 
cargoes, which reduces our Indians to extreme poverty, which is, as 
you know, the mother of all vice. Such is our position here. You may 
of course pray hard for us all. We cannot help it; patience will not cure 
the evil ,1 fear." 38 

The United Nation or the Prairie Potawatomi had thus signally 
disappointed the hopes once entertained of their advancement in the 
ways of upright and Christian living. On the other hand, their kinsmen 
of Sugar Creek, the Potawatomi of Indiana or the Forest Potawatomi, 
were steadily advancing to the condition of an orderly and edifying 
Christian community. The conclusion was accordingly reached to 
abandon Council Bluffs as a center of resident missionary endeavor 
and transfer the Fathers stationed there to Sugar Creek. In pursuance 
of instructions received from St. Louis, Fathers Verreydt and Christian 
Hoecken, together with Brothers Mazzela and Miles bade farewell to 
Council Bluffs in Augtrst, 1841 and journeyed to Sugar Creek, which 
they reached on the 29th of that month. Thenceforth the Iowa Pota- 
watomi were without spiritual aid except for an occasional visit of 
Father Christian Hoecken from Sugar Creek. In April 1842, the latter 
administered four baptisms at Council Bluffs. In November 1844, he 
administered twenty more at the same post, all to Indians or half- 
breeds. In May, 1846, he was again with the United Nation, baptizing 
on this occasion thirty-eight infants and a dying squaw. This was ap- 
parently the last visit of a Catholic priest to Council Bluffs before the 
closing of the Potawatomi reserve.^'' Two years later the Indians were 
removed to their new lands on the Kansas River assigned them under 
the treaty of 1846, where they were united with the Sugar Creek di- 
vision of the tribe and came again under the spiritual care of Jesuit 


38 Verreydt to Van Assche, July 2, 1841. 

39 Liber Baptismonim. 1838—1850 (Archives of St. Mary's College, St. Mary's, Kansas). 
Richard Smith Elliott, Indian Agent at Council Bluffs, in his Notes Taken in Sixty Years, 
p. 180, records his having "solemnized the first civil marriage in all Southwest Iowa." The 
parties to the marriage were the half-breed. Joseph LaFramboise, United States interpreter 
for the agency, and a Miss Labarg[e]. "The Priest [Father Hoecken] had made his annual 
trip in May and about ten months would elapse before he would come again." 

40 According to Babbitt, Earlv Davs in Council Bluffs, 57, the Catholic mission-property 
at the time application was made" for the entry of the town-site of Council Bluffs became 
the subject of a controversy between Mrs. S. T. Carey and the Catholic ecclesiastical 
authorities. The evidence adduced in the long-drawn out controversy before the Indian 
Office and the Land Department is on record in the files of the Indian Office (Case No. 139. 
Potawatomi file, No. 40-L). Father De Smet, when questioned on the subject in 1867 could 
give no definite information. "All I could learn on the subject is: Several years after the 
last missionary among the Potawatomies left that location, he was applied to by the Cath- 
olic Bishop of Dubuque and ceded to him all the right to the Mission-claim. ' Ktchardson 
and Chittenden's De Smet, 4: 1534. 



Dear to the heart of every American is the career of a man who 
has figured prominently in the affairs of this great nation, but dearer 
still is the life of one whose noble deeds in behalf of our country were 
unexcelled, and who yet remains hidden by his close association wnth 
great personages. The life story of Alexander Bellesime, a friend of 
the Marquis de Lafayette, his companion and aide-de-camp during 
the American Revolution, is an instance where the heroism of the 
private is overshadowed by the military achievements of his superior 

Our hero was born, August 9, 1756, in the vicinity of Bordeaux. 
His father, Jean Bellesime, was a wealthy landlord, his vineyard 
being one of the most extensive in this section of France. Admiral 
Bellesime of the French Fleet was his uncle and the young Alex- 
ander imbibed much of his patriotism through association with this 
uncle, whom the boy took as a model. When the war for American 
Independence began, Bellesime was on board a French man-of-war. 
His love of liberty and justice could not but reach out to the strug- 
gling colonies in the distant West and on learning that a vessel was 
being fitted out by the Marquis de Lafayette, he immediately offered 
his services. From their first meeting, Lafayette and Bellesime be- 
came friends. Both were young, neither had completed his twentieth 
year . Their college days had not been spent together but their edu- 
cational developments were similar. Bellesime attended the military 
college at Paris and his attainments were equal to his opportunities. 
He became proficient in six foreign langiiages, his favorite among 
these being the Italian. Much of the friendly intercourse between 
Bellesime and Lafayette was carried on in this tongue. The same 
spirit that animated the Marquis de Lafayette towards the struggling 
colonies also aroused the sympathy of Bellesime. They were eager 
to draw their swords in behalf of freedom. They considered it the 
happiest moment of their lives when they were ready to serve her. 
It was on April 24, 1777, that Lafayette's vessel, the "Victory", 
came in sight of the American shore. The voyage had been danger- 
ous and stormy. When nearing the harbor at Georgetown, South 
Carolina, they were attacked by a British cruiser. A fight ensued 
and in the melee Lafayette was thrown into the sea. But Bellesime 



had seen the accident, and to jump after his friend to rescue him was 
the work of a moment. This incident was the beginning of a series 
of heroic actions that testify to his unselfish character, his quick 
bravery, and, his sincere love for "His General." The English cruiser 
was overcome and the French vessel, bearing the Marquis and his 
companions, landed safely at Georgetown, South Carolina. At first 
they were taken for a party of the enemy, but when their identity had 
been established, that they were volunteers to the American cause, 
they were received with great joy and enthusiasm. The hopes of the 
disheartened people of Georgetown were revived and new life was 
infused in the American patriots. In order to procure horses and 
carriages the victorious party sailed to Charleston, South Carolina, 
whence they proceeded by land to Philadelphia, where Congress was 
then in session. The Marquis, in the name of his volunteer com- 
panions, among whom was the German veteran. Baron de Kalb and 
a French Major, Gamet, who was also an aide-de-camp of Lafayette, 
offered their services to the United Colonies. After some hesitation 
Congress accepted these brave men. The first engagement of La- 
fayette and his two aides was at the Battle of Brandywine. Lafayette 
showed such skill and courage in this battle that his name became 
famous. The British determined to capture "the boy" as they called 
him, and left nothing undone to carry out their plan. It was after 
this first battle and while directing a body of Americans with whom 
Washington had charged him, that the hero of this story again saves 
the life of Lafayette. A British Officer detecting the Marquis had 
succeeded in getting behind him, and with drawn sword was ready 
to strike the fatal blow. In an instant, Bellesime was at his side. 
He threw the sword from the murderous hand and amid firing of 
bullets unsaddled the English officer and again saved the life of his 
friend. This was the second testimony of devoted love given by this 
aide-de-camp, a love that ever existed. 

At the close of the campaign of 1778, Lafayette deemed it his 
duty to return to France to place himself at the disposal of his govern- 
ment, and to exert himself in behalf of America by his personal con- 
ference with the French ministry. He wanted Bellesime to accom- 
pany him, but our hero, out of sympathy for the struggling nation, 
gave this characteristic answer: "You, my dear Marquis, can do 
much for America while in France, I could do nothing, then let me 
remain where I may give to America all that is mine to give, rny 
life." In Lafayette's absence, Bellesime served for a short time in 
General Sullivan's regiment, but when Rochambeau came to the aid 
of the colonies he was made sergeant, a position he held until his 
return to Lafayette's service. This favor he asked, and after some 
hesitation Washington gave the desired permission. So it happened 
that Lafayette and Bellesime were again together at the siege of 

After a long and skillful campaign in Virginia, the army suc- 
ceeded in tiring out Cornwallis, who at last took up a position at 
Yorktown, where he expected to receive supplies and fresh troops. 


Lafayette saw what might be done if timely aid could be obtained, 
for he knew that a French fleet was on its way to America, and 
if it were possible to have it enter Chesapeake Bay, Cornwallis would 
be cut off by sea, and by the maneuvering of the American Army, 
Lafayette could prevent a retreat through the Carolinas should they 
attempt to do this. After giving an account of these conditions to 
Washington, Lafayette with great skill held Cornwallis in at York- 
town. Rochambeau arrived with re-enforcements and Washington 
came from Philadelphia with his army. Without further hesitation 
the siege began. Lafayette charged the breastworks. It was in this 
final action that our hero gave the last testimony of love and affec- 
tion to his revered Marquis. While encouraging his troops, Lafay- 
ette's charger was struck by a cannon ball ; horse and rider fell to 
the ground, Bellesime, with his usual alertness was at his General's 
side. He raised the Marquis and assisted him to mount his own 
horse. In this action Bellesime received several wounds which were 
supposed to be mortal. He was carried from the field and hastened 
to the camp where relief could be given to the sufferer. 

This battle ended the war for Independence, and Lafayette or- 
dered his sick and wounded to be gathered on board a French vessel 
that they might be quickly transported home where necessary care 
and treatment could be given them. To an old French surgeon he 
gave orders that his "brave aide-de-camp," as he always called 
Bellesime, should have every attention and comfort, for he had been 
more than a friend to him. In case of death he ordered that a decent 
burial be given him. According to a letter written by Bellesime, 
he states, "the doctor worried with me for a while." The vessel 
landed at New Orleans for medical supplies, the doctor thought it 
best to leave the wounded hero here for he had little hope that the 
sufferer could live to see the French shore. Another physician was 
given charge, and the vessel set sail for France with the other 
wounded soldiers, leaving Bellesime at New Orleans, which was close 
to the newly liberated colonies. The report made by the surgeon 
on arriving home was that Bellesime, Lafayette's friend, had died. 
Sorrow filled the heart of the Marquis at this news for he loved this 
self-sacrificing companion as a brother. 

But death did not call the hero, on the contrary, his condition 
improved and he finally settled in St. Louis, then a growing town 
of the Louisiana Territory. He married an orphan girl, Mary Waters, 
whose parents had been killed by the Indians. She was of English 
descent and was born in Detroit. A French merchant, Provenchere, 
adopted and educated her. Few families were as happy as that of 
Bellesime. Twelve children graced the home and it was a favorite 
rendezvous for the elite of St. Louis, and for ladies and gentlemen 
of rank, living in New Orleans. Hospitality was a characteristic 
of the Bellesime home where everyttody came with joy. the visit 
being saddened only by the thought of having to leave. 

From the Rocky Mountains to Santa Fe, from Detroit to New 
Orleans, Bellesime was known. His nickname, "Old Eleckson", was 


familiar to all. He was the first to establish a tavern and wagon- 
yard in St. Louis. This accomodation for farmers and voyagers was 
erected on Spruce and Myrtle Streets. Farmers, mountaineers, and 
boatmen loved and venerated him for his defence of liberty and 
justice. His strong personality, happy disposition and true Christian 
sentiments endeared him to all with whom he became acquainted. 
He had a tender love for music, and his old French flute often lulled 
his little ones to sleep. It was his delight to relate to his children, 
stories of his friendship with the Marquis de Lafayette, how after 
some hard-fought battle or a long march, they would seek a shade 
in Liberty's forest and there pipe some sweet French melody, a 
melody of home, that it might be borne across the great blue sea to 
those dear and loved ones there. 

Few knew this dear old hero's history, and not until 1824 did 
his real identity reveal itself. The Marquis de Lafayette had arrived 
in the United States on a national visit. From his first landing the 
hearts of the Missourians were elated with the hope that the Great 
General would gratify them by visiting their state, then the most 
distant and the youngest member of the Union. They forwarded a 
message, a kind and pressing invitation to General Lafayette to pay 
St. Louis a visit. Lafayette's answer filled them with delight as he 
declared that it would be his happiness to visit his former country- 
men and the land once owned by his loved France, but now the 
home of his dearest friends. Many days were spent in preparation, 
and at last the time had arrived when they could honor him who 
was more than a French General of the American Revolution. The 
sleepless night passed and when the happy day dawned more than 
half the population of St. Louis was about the steamboat landing, 
eager to catch the first glimpse of the boat that would bring them 
their venerated guest. After long hours of anxious waiting the ves- 
sel bearing the Marquis was seen. It glided close to the Illinois 
shore until opposite the sandbar on Duncan Island when the prow 
slightly turned toward the standing throng. What stillness ! What 
rebounding heart throbs were concealed lest a sound should break 
the solemnity of the silence ! There was one old heart which was beat- 
ing faster, one fond love which was stronger, and one dear soul more 
eager to clasp "His General" to his heart than that vast multitude 
could tell, and that one was Bellesime, our hero. 

The boat began to slacken speed for landing, Lafayette walked 
to the railing and waved the Stars and Stripes, while a shout such 
as the hills of St. Louis had never echoed before rose from the once 
silent throng and continued until the boat reached the bank. A com- 
mittee escorted the Marquis to the carriage prepared to convey him 
to the Chouteau mansion on Market Street. 

The honored guest could not recognize individuals in that vast 
multitude nor was he expecting a meeting with one of his Victory 
companions. Bellesime's tear-dimmed eyes gazed on in silence and 
a whisper echoed "Forgotten." Could this be possible? And then 
with a resolution animated by the hopes of clasping his dear Marquis 


again to his heart, he resolved to tell the committee who he was. 
He approached Captain Miles and revealed his identity. The Cap- 
tain informed Lafayette that an old gentleman, Bellesime by name, 
lived in the city and claimed to have been his companion on the 
Victory. For some time Lafayette thought, then he said it could 
not be possible, it must be an imposter, for his loved Bellesime had 
died in New Orleans in 178L However he told the committee to 
bring the old man to him, he would gladly receive him. A messenger 
hastened to Bellesime and told him what Lafayette had said. "Well," 
said Bellesime," if Lafayette believes me to be an impostor, I will 
not go, I owe nothing to the Marquis de Lafayette." A second mes- 
senger was sent to insist upon the old man's coming and though his 
proud heart was pricked to the very core, he finally yielded to the 
entreaty and allowed the messenger to escort him to the reception. 
Bellesime requested that he might be introduced to Lafayette as a 
stranger. Mayor Lane brought in the old man and made the formal 
introduction. Lafayette and Bellesime shook hands. Lafayette 
stepped back, then the old gentleman spoke. "General, have you for- 
gotten the combat with the British cruiser on the coast of Carolina?" 
Before Bellesime could utter another word Lafayette threw his arms 
around his companion and with entreaties begged him to forgive 
his incredulity. The scene was pathetic. The audience gazed on in 
silence, fearing a cheer would be a choked sob. The two heroes 
conversed together for some minutes in Italian. The Marquis in- 
vited Bellesime to accompany him in reviewing the cavalry troops 
which were drawn up in line to honor the visiting hero. Proudly 
did old Bellesime take his place beside his loved Marquis. After 
the survey of this splendid demonstration of military training, a 
banquet was served. It had been prepared by the members of the 
Masonic Lodge, of which association Lafayette was then a member. 
Bellesime was eagerly pressed to accept an invitation to be present 
at this reunion, but being a devout Catholic, he declined. Lafayette 
would not allow insistence, for he well knew the love of Faith that 
ever existed in his companion. But before departing, a short private 
interview was held between the two. Lafayette begged his old friend 
to accompany him back to France. His father's estate was without 
an heir and this great fortune would be his if a personal claim were 
made. Bellesime thought of his motherless children, some were 
young, and, reflecting on their need, he told the Marquis that his 
care for these children would be a greater inheritance than his 
father's estate. The Marquis asked Bellesime to accompany him to 
Washington where he could establish his claim with the govern- 
ment for services in the army. The generous lover of Liberty again 
refused, saying, "I gave my services to Liberty, I desire no re- 

This hero, forgotten by all, died August 13. 1833. For three 
days his remains lay in state. The people of St. Louis and sur- 
rounding country were notified by a proclamation from the Gover- 
nor of Missouri calling them to the burial of the friend of Liberty 


and a companion of the Marquis de Lafayette. He was buried with 
military honors from the St. Louis Cathedral. The Grays accom- 
panied the remains to the old North Cemetery, where all paid their 
last respects to the dear old hero of the American Revolution. True 
to his God, faithful to his adopted country, Bellesime there awaits the 
final call of Him who does not Forget. 

A Sister of St. Joseph 
of Carondelet. 


by the Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis 

Books and pamphlets on American History and Biography, 
particularly those relating to Church institutions, ecclesiastical 
persons and Catholic lay people within the limits of the Louisiana 
Purchase ; 

Old newspapers ; Catliolic modern papers ; Parish papers, 
whether old or recent : 

IVe zvill highly appreciate the courtesy of the Reverend 
Pastors ivho send us regularly their Parish publications ; 
Manuscripts ; narratives of early Catholic settlers or relating 
to early Catholic settlements ; letters : 

In the case of family papers which the actual ozvners 
zvish to keep in their possession, we shall be grateful for 
the privilege of taking copies of these papers ; 
Engravings, portraits. Medals, etc; 

In a word, every object whatsoever which, by the most liberal 
construction, may be regarded as an aid to, or illustration of the 
history of the Catholic Church in the Middle West. 

Contributions will be credited to the donors and preserved 
in the Library or Archives of the Society, for the use and benefit 
of the members and other duly authorized persons. 

Communications may be addressed either to the Secretary, 
or to the Librarians of the 

Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis, 

209 Walnut Street, St. Louis, Mo. 



Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis 
Secretary's Report for 1920-1921 

At the last Annual Meeting of the St. Louis Historical Society 
all. the old officers were elected for another term, with the exception 
of the Secretary and the Treasurer, to which offices Rev. Edward 
H. Amsinger and Mr. Edward Brown were respectively elected. Ow- 
ing to ill-health and pressing business causing their absence from 
the city some of the officers were not able to attend all the meetings 
of the Society and the Executive Committee, but still they discharged 
their duties very faithfully and gave sufficient notice ahead of time, 
when they foresaw that they would be prevented from being present. 
The attendance of the membership at large at the regular meetings was 
not nearly so large as we feel it should have been. An average of 
about ten persons attended each meeting. On a few occasions a few 
more were present. Still some progress was made. The membership 
grew very considerably in numbers and our collections have been 
enriched by quite a few donations, the Library Committee reporting 
additions at every meeting. At the September meeting Father Ro- 
thensteiner read a very interesting and instructive paper on "The 
Old St. Louis Calvary and Cross." At the November meeting a 
highly interesting and very timely paper by Rev. Paul C. Schulte of 
the Old Cathedral about the first St. Vincent de Paul Conference 
founded in the United States and entitled : "The Old Cathedral Con- 
ference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society," was read by Fr. Rothen- 
steiner. At the January meeting Fr. Rothensteiner read some ex- 
tracts from the correspondence of Rev. Hilary Tucker, which fur- 
nished some very interesting information about this zealous priest's 
ministry in and around Quincy, Illinois, about 100 years ago. At 
the March meeting, which, however, was postponed till April 6, on 
account of Holy Week, Fr. Brennan gave an informal talk on "the 
History of the Earth as written by itself," treating the different 
strata of the earth's crust as so many historical records of its forma- 

Unfortunately, the publication of the Society's periodical, The 
St. Louis Catholic Historical Review, was delayed several times, which, 
as last year, may be attributed, at least in part, to the still unsettled 
conditions of the times. It is the purpose of the Catholic Historical 
Society to treat of the religious and social influences, that have 




gone out from St. Louis as a center from the days of the earliest dis- 
coveries to the present time, which will soon belong to the past and 
as such be history also. The Society therefore should make a strong- 
appeal to the interest and support of the educated classes in St. 
Louis, Missouri and the surrounding country. If more lively interest 
in the great historical past of our city and state could be aroused and 
better financial support secured, the Catholic Historical Society of 
St. Louis would no doubt attain the object of its existence more 
effectively and do monumental work in the historical field. 

Edward H. Amsinger, 


Financial Statement. 

Year Ending May i6, 1921. 


Balance on hand May i, 1920. . .$ 98.75 

Membership Dues 435-00 

Proceeds Sale Vol. 1 168.00 

Advertising 65.00 

Subscriptions for "Review" 159.00 

"Review" Copies sold 18.62 

Donations 11 s.oo 

Printing "Review" $ 


Binding Vol. 1 115.00 


Ptg. Leaflets 

Miss. Val. Assn 

Stamped Envelopes . 

Printing Cards 

Exc. on Remittances 
By Balance 




To Balance on hand May i6th, 1921, 



Edward Brown, 


Librarian's Report 

The Committee on Library and Publications begs to report the 
following additions made to our collections. 



Since the last report published in the July-October Number of the 
Review, we have been able to procure the following documents : 
Badin, Stephen Theodore, Letter to the Card. Prefect of Propaganda, Rome, 

November 10, 1826. 
Du Bourg, Bishop, To Card. Prefect of Propaganda, St. Louis, April 20, 1820. 

To Card. Fontana, Pref. of Prop., February 24, 1821 (completed). 

To same. May 8, 1821 (completed). 

To same, February 8, 1822 (completed). 

To same, St. Louis, October i, 1822 

To same, Baltimore, December 6, 1822. 

To his brother Louis (Bordeaux), Washington, January 24, 1823, 

To same, Washington, February 6, 1823. 

To Rev. Philip Borgna, CM., Washington, February 27, 1823. 

To the Card. Pref. of Prop., Baltimore, March 29, 1823 (completed). 

To Archbishop Caprano, Secretary of Propaganda, New Orleans, 

January 29, 1825. 

To same. New Orleans, July 26, 1825. 

To the Bishops of the United States 

4, 1825. 

To Card, della Somaglia, Prefect of 

October 6, 1825. 

Natchitoches, L^., Octaber 
Propaganda, Natchitoches, 

NOTES 183 

To Archbishop Caprano, New Orleans, January 26, 1826. 

To same. New Orleans, Jantiary 30, 1826. 

To same, New Orleans, February 17, 1826 (resignation). 

To same, New Orleans, February 27, 1826. 

To same, New Orleans, March 10, 1826. 

To same, Havre (France), July 3, 1826. 

To the Cardinal Nuncio of the Holy See in France, Paris, November 

15, 1826. 

To the Card. Prefect ot Prop. Montauban, May i, 1827. 

To Card. Cappellari, Prefect of Propaganda, Montauban, September 


Marechal, Ambrose, Archbishop, To the Card. Prefect of Propaganda, Balti- 
more, Augus.t 25, 1825. 

Martial, Auguste, Rev., To Billand (Rome), July 13 — August, 1822 (very im- 
portant for the description of religious condition in New Orleans) 

To same, New Orleans, October i — 20 — November 2, 1822. 

To same, New Orleans, December 3, 1822. 

Rosati Joseph, Rev., To Father Baccari, V. G. of the Cong, of the Mission, 
Rome, St. Genevieve, May 6, 1823. 

Besides these documents procured fi^3m the Archives of Propa- 
ganda, an Anonymous Donor sent from Arcadia — the postmark and 
the nature of the documents sent do not permit our thanks to go astray 
if we address them to Father Wernert — on January 29, 1921, the 
Permit issued by the Health Department of St. Louis for the transfer 
and burial of the body of Rev. Francis Schreiber, deceased, at the 
Ursuline Convent at Arcadia on June 20, 1905, and buried in the 
Priests' Lot in Calvary Cemetery. 

It may be in order to mark here that still other documents are 
daily expected from Rome. Among them are a number of Letters of 
Father De Andreis which, so far as is known, were heretofore con- 
sidered lost and could not be used by his historian. A copy of these 
letters is extant in a somewhat unexpected place — the old Jesuit Fund 
of the Biblioteca Vittorio Emmanuele. 

The archivists are glad to state that, whilst the collection of the 
Letters of Bishop Du Bourg at the Chancery was, three years ago, re- 
ported to contain "146 letters and documents," this collection, by 
means of copies obtained from various sources, amounts now to 212 
numbers. It may be estimated that further research will enable the 
collection to reach the total of about 250 numbers. But the documents 
yet to be procured will, in all likelihood, add little in the way of new 
historical information. Indeed we make bold to say that the historical 
importance of the topics treated in our recent additions to this fund 
is such, that it affords any willing worker the possibility of treating 
with all desirable completeness the history of the American Episcopate 
of that prelate — that is much more than what should logically form 
Part II of a History of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. — It is perhaps 
also worthy of notice that of all these documents a typewritten copy 
has been taken, which will dispense workers from handling the now 
centenarian originals, and preserve these originals from the wear and 
tear inseparable from frequent perusal. 

184 NOTES 



The last report of additions to our Library is printed in the St. 
Louis Catholic Historical Reviezv, Vol. II, No. 4, October 1920. Since 
that time most of the increase of our Library has been in the way of 
exchanges with the publications of various Historical Societies. We 
thus get regularly the following: 
Acta et Dicta, published by the Catholic Historical Society of St. Paul, St. Paul, 

The Catholic Historical Revieiv, publ. quarterly by the Catholic University of 

America, Washington, D. C. 
The Fortnightly Reviezv, St. Louis, Mo. 

Historical Records and Studies, published by the United States Catholic His- 
torical Society, New York. 
Illinois Catholic Historical Reznew, publ. quarterly by the Illinois Catholic His- 
torical Society, Chicago, 111. 
Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, publ. quarterly by the Illinois 

State Historical So'Mety, Springfield, 111. 
Louisiana Historical Quarterly, published by the Louisiana Historical Society, 

New Orleans, La. 
Michigan History Magazine, published quarterly by the Michigan Historical 

Commission, Lansing, Mich. 
Minnesota History Bulletin, published quarterly by the Minnesota Historical 

Society, St. Paul, Minn. 
The Missouri Historical Review, publ' quarterly by the State Historical Society 

of Missouri, Columbia, Mo. 
The Mississippi Valley Historical Reviezv, publ. quarterly by the Mississippi 

Valley Historical Association, Lincoln, Neb. 
Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia, publ. 

quarterly by the Society, Philadelphia, Pa. 
Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society, publ. by the Illinois State 

Historical Society, Springfield, 111. 
The Wisconsin Magazine of History, published quarterly by the State Historical 

Society of Wisconsin, Menasha, Wis. 
The Hispanic American Historical Reviezv, published quarterly, Baltimore, Md. 
The Michigan Historical Commission have not only sent us the 
Magazine they issue, but also two volumes published by them: 1. The 
Michigan Fur Trade, by Ida Amanda Johnson. Lansing 1919, to 
which is annexed The Pcre Marquette Railroad Company — An His- 
torical Study of the growth and development of one of Michigan's 
most important Railway Systems, by Paul Wesley Ivey, Ph.D., Lans- 
ing, 1919. 2. Life and Times of Stevens Thomson Mason, the Boy 
Governor of Michigan, by Lawton T. Hemans. Lansing, 1920. Among 
the accessions are not mentioned works sent for review, which, accord- 
ing to a fair custom, remain the property of the reviewer. 


Our Reviezv 

A third part is expected to this Report, dealing with the Society's 
publication, the St. Louis Catholic Historical Reviezv. All here present 
may easily follow its progress, and conclude for themselves that like 

NOTES 185 

all things mundane, it has its ups and downs, even, it would seem at 
times from the irregularity of its appearance, more given to downs than 
ups. I do not speak here of its financial support : your treasurer has as- 
sured us that if it does not coin money, it however succeeds in making 
both ends meet. My concern presently is merely with the editing of it. 
Much against our liking we had to unite once more two numbers into 
one, so that you have at hands a double number. I need not say I firmly 
hope that this is the last time. But to any one who might, because 
he does not realize exactly the existing conditions, have been inclined 
to censoriousness, I may point out the cold fact that the Editor of said 
Review is of all the members of the Society the one on whom by far 
the greater and heavier part of the work done in the Society devolves. 
Contributors — too few, but they are most willing — do their share, to 
be sure ; but his remains the lion's share, and it is of such a nature 
that very little of it can be conveniently done by anyone else. Now all 
this, of course, must come out of his spare time, for his duties as a 
priest, as a community man, and as a professor must come first and 
are not allowed to be neglected. This I say, and please take, not as 
an apology, but as an earnest invitation extended to all to help in the 
work. Our little Review has, I may say without false modesty, won 
at once a flattering place among similar publications in the apprecia- 
tion of those who know : we cannot afford to lower its standard of 
excellence. Nor are we minded to do so. But let me say confidently : 
The more will be working — ^there are so many ways to help — the bet- 
ter the chance of doing good work. No fear here that "too many 
cooks spoil the broth'': if efforts are properly co-ordinated, the fin- 
ished product will be all the more satisfactory. We need a greater 
subscription list: many may co-operate; we need more contributors; 
more workers to share in the editorial labor — infomiation, notes, 
proof-reading, etc. 

Charles L. Souvay, CM. 

With this issue ends the series of letters exchanged between 
Bishop Du Bourg and the Congregation of Propaganda. This series, 
as our readers have not failed to notice, is incomplete ; but as it is, 
it affords most valuable information both for the history of this 
Prelate and for that of the Church in these parts. Whilst, of course, 
efforts will continue to be made to recover the missing numbers, there 
is every reason to believe that their loss detracts little from our knowl- 
edge of the period. 

We propose to begin with our next Number, the publication of 
a document still more important for our history, a copy of which is 
one of the most precious treasures of our Archives — the DiaVy of 
Bishop Rosati, so often referred to in the pages of this and other 
Reviews. Bishop Rosati kept, indeed, two Diaries : the one, which he 
entitled Ephemerides Privatae, by far the more complete; and the 

186 NOTES 

other, where he entered all the official acts of his Episcopal admini- 
stration. The Ephemerides Privatae is the Diary which we intend to 

It is contained in three large books, measuring each 12^ by 8 in. 
Vol. I extends from the time of Rosati's Consecration, March 25, 
1824 (it rehearses briefly, though, the story of the negotiations with 
Rome in regard to his elevation to the Episcopacy, since the arrival 
of the Brief appointing him to the Vicariate Apostolic of Mississippi 
and Alabama), to June 4, 1829. This volume, unfortunately is incom- 
plete and mutilated, and, no doubt, went originally to July 31, 1831. 
A space of more than two years, therefore, is now missing. — The sec- 
ond Tome goes from August 1, 1831, to December 31, 1836; and the 
third, from January 1, 1837 to December 31, 1840. There can be no 
doubt but, on January 1, 1841, Bishop Rosati must have commenced 
a fourth volume, and continued it until shortly before his death 
(September 25, 1843) ; but so far no trace of this volume has ever 
been found, and no mention of it is made in the Inventory of the 
"effects" contained in his room at the time of his death. Of the three 
tomes extant, the first and third are in the Archives of the Roman 
Procurator of the Congregation of the Mission in Rome ; the first 
bears on the outside, the name of Felix Rosati, our Bishop's nephew, 
by whom it was given to the Roman Lazarists. The second volume 
belongs to the Archives of the Chancery of St. Louis. 

In this Diary, the orderly Prelate entered faithfully every day 
the happenings of that day, even when they belonged to the ordinary 
routine, like saying Mass, going to Confession, hearing Confessions, 
letters written and received, Conferencs to the Seminarians, Con- 
ferences to the members of his Congregation, etc. We have, there- 
fore, in these pages an accurate account of all the details of his life 
and activity : that is why this document is of immeasurable historical 
value for the period it covers. It may be added that it is invaluable 
also for the insight it aiTords us into the mind, heart and character of 
the good Bishop. 

All the entries are made in Latin, as was common enough with 
the American Bishops of that time, and was quite natural with a man 
to whom Latin was like a second mother tongue. 

Contrary to the practice adopted so far in this Review of giving 
the original text of the Documents published, we shall print only an 
English translation of the Diary. Notes will accompany and explain 
or complete the text when necessary. It goes without saying that 
when the wording of the original is of special importance, it will be 
given in the Notes. 

Centennial History of Missouri (the; Center State) hy 
Walter B. Stevens. St. Louis, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1921.— 
These five volumes of imperial octavo, compiled as a memorial of the 

NOTES 187 

centennial of Missouri's statehood which we celebrate this year, we 
owe to the indefatigable industry of Mr. Walter B. Stevens, who in 
various publications issued during the last twenty years has made the 
field of Missouri state history during the American period peculiarly 
his own. Only the first two volumes of this work are to be described 
as history in the ordinary acceptation of the term ; the last three are 
entirely taken up with biographical sketches of living Missourians. It 
is regrettable that this feature, however useful in its way for purposes 
of reference as a state-wide Who's Who, should bulk so large in a 
work that is meant to tell on a broader scale than has hitherto been 
attempted the story of Missouri's greatness. No doubt this is a plan 
often resorted to as a means of financing elaborate and expensive pub- 
lications which might otherwise never see the light of day; but it is 
a plan that we are not accustomed to associate with any noteworthy 
or valuable contribution to the literature of history. One feels by 
contrast the greater dignity of the course followed by the Illinois 
Centennial Commission under which Professors Buck and Alvord 
brought out their scholarly volumes, the latter's "Illinois Country" 
being in particular the most readable and definite treatment of the 
subject since the days when Parkman gave to the world his classic 

Mr. Stevens does not conceive his subject as a dramatic whole, 
which it is, with beginning, middle and end and with the dramatic 
elements of progressive incident, suspense and climax. His method 
is discoursive and topical, not consecutive. His book is not a gradual- 
ly unfolding narrative which one has to read entire before he gets the 
complete story. It is a succession of more or less isolated, independent 
chapters dealing with all the varied phases of Missouri life, political, 
social, education, religious and economic. The method has its advan- 
tages, no one will gainsay. Highly interesting topics that enter into 
the background of Missouri history, such as taverns, trails, tracks, 
waterways, family life and customs, are dealt with in separate chap- 
ters and with a satisfying wealth of detail that cannot fail to engross 
the reader's attention. What one desiderates is a connected story. No 
one who wishes to follow the successive steps by which Missouri ad- 
vanced from the pioneer conditions of a frontier state to the great 
commonwealth she is to-day will find a guide to his punpose in this 
elaborate work. 

The chapters we turn to with especial interest are those dealing 
with the religious history of the state. Of these there are only two. 
Chapters V and XXX. In Chapter V, "Worship in Woods and Cab- 
ins," no mention is made of the Catholic Church, the chapter being 
taken up entirely with the pioneer experiences of the various Prot- 
estant denominations. In Chapter XXX the beginnings of organized 
Catholicity under Bishops Du Bourg and Rosati and its subsequent 
development down to what is taken to be an historical landmark in 
the growth of the Church, the laying of the corner-stone of the new 
St. Louis cathedral, are sketched, but in brief and summary fashion. 
The account, such as it is, is restricted almost entirely to the history 

188 NOTES 

of the Catholic Church in St. Louis, no information being supplied 
concerning the organization and growth of the Catholic dioceses of 
St. Joseph and Kansas City, if we except the few paragraphs on 
pioneer Catholicity in Kansas City. Mr. Stevens has not, we are con- 
fident, willingly begrudged the Catholic Church any of the credit which 
is justly hers in the upbuilding of our commonwealth; but he has 
failed none the less to realize the greatness of her historic role in the 
development of the state with the result that the treatment accorded 
her in the work now before us cannot but be regarded as inadequate. 
At the same time numerous cordial tributes to the character and in- 
fluence of Catholic ecclesiastics make it clear that the deticiencies of 
Mr. Stevens' work in the aspect under consideration arise from lack 
of adequate information and not from any prejudice or ill-will against 
the Catholic Church. The following lines which he writes on Arch- 
bishop Kenrick may be cited. "The extraordinary growth of Catholi- 
cism in St. Louis, the theological strength of the clergy, the thousands 
of conversions of residents, not so much from other churches as from 
the mass of the indifferent, are better understood when the example 
and precepts of Peter Richard Kenrick are known." 

Numerous inaccuracies occur in the narrative, some of which may 
be pointed out. Father Rosati and his party did not accompany Bishop 
Du Bourg from Europe, (1:966). The prelate followed ihem a year 
later (1817). Moreover, Father De Andreis and not Father Rosati 
was in charge of the party of ecclesiastics who left Bordeaux in 1816. 
"St. Louis [in 1825] was a diocese with one bishop, three secular 
priests, five Lazarist fathers, one Jesuit, fourteen ecclesiastical stu- 
dents, five Jesuit scholastics and from 11,000 to 12,000 laity." As a 
matter of fact, there was west of the Mississippi in 1825 only one 
diocese, the undivided diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas, with 
two bishops, Bishcxp Du Bourg and his coadjutor, Bishop Rosati. 
Moreover, there were within the limits of that diocese at the period 
mentioned, besides six Lazarists, two Jesuit priests. Fathers Van 
Quickenborne and De Theux, six Jesuit scholastics, and a number of 
secular priests certainly in excess of three. Father Van Quickenborne, 
when he assisted at the consecration of Bishop Portier in 1826, was 
not "the chancellor of the little college of Jesuits." Father Van Quick- 
enborne's college, later St. Louis University, opened its doors only in 
1829. "The church in St. Louis has reason to be grateful that Rosati 
stood so firmly by his attachment to this city" (1 :968). This sentence, 
in reference to Bishop Rosati's reluctance to go to New Orleans as 
bishop, conveys a wrong impression. It was not a merely natural 
preference for St. Louis as a place of residence that induced Rosati 
to take the stand he did. His health had never been good, while he 
was in the South, and he dreaded the loss of physical vigor and effi- 
ciency in the ministry if required to live there permanently. More- 
over, he feared that he might not be a persona grata to the people of 
New Orleans. 

The paragraph on early Catholicity in Kansas City( 1:988) is 
replete with inaccuracies. Father De La Croix visited the Osage in 

NOTES 189 

1822 not 1820. Purporting, it would appear, to quote from Garraghan's 
Catholic Beginnings in Kansas City, Mr. Stevens writes, "Father De 
La Croix in his report mentioned that he found a 'handful of Creole 
settlers at the mouth of the Kansas River.' " No such statement 
occurs in Father Garraghan's work. His actual words are in an op- 
posite sense. "That he [De La Croix] visited a handful of Creole 
settlers at the mouth of the Kansas has been asserted, though on what 
evidence does not apear'' (op. cit., p. 24). "Later, in 1834, came Fa- 
ther Roux, etc." Father Roux arrived at Kawsmouth in 1833. "Father 
Bernard Donnelly succeeded Father Roux in 1846" (1:989). Mis- 
leading. Father Roux returned from his mission on the site of the 
future Kansas City in 1835, the place being visited later by several 
Jesuit missionaries, among them Father Point, who resided there five 
months. Father Donnelly was rather the successor at Kansas City of 
these visiting Jesuit missionaries. 

Attention may be called to some further misstatements of fact 
that have come under the reviewer's notice. Judge Wilson Primm's 
exiplanation of the origin of the name of the River des Peres, quoted 
without any apparent suspicion as to its correctness, bristles with mis- 
takes. "A number of the religious order of Trappists or Monks from 
Canada had, under the authority of the Bishop of Quebec, Canada, 
settled at Cahokia in what is now St. Clair County, Illinois" (1:106). 
The Trappists in question came not from Canada, but from France, 
whence they emigrated first to Kentucky and later to Florissant, 
which they left to settle not in Cahokia, but alongside of the Big 
Mound on the Collinsville Road in Madison county, Illinois. These 
Trappists were never resident on the River des Peres, the name of 
which is rather to be connected with the Jesuit missionaries who lived 
with the Kaskaskia Indians at the mouth of the river in the opening 
years of the eighteenth century, as Father L. J. Kenny, S.J., has con- 
clusively shown. (Cf. St. Louis Catholic Historical Review, April, 

The "first free school west of the Mississippi" is said to have 
been established by the Unitarians in St. Louis in 1836 (2:15). As a 
matter of fact free schools were established by Mother Duchesne first 
at St. Charles in 1818 and later in the 'twenties at Florissant and St. 
Louis. A parochial school for boys attached to St. Charles Borromeo 
Church, St. Charles, Mo., was opened as early as 1829. The first 
medical school in St. Louis was not the one connected with Kemper 
College (2:68). This distinction belongs to the first medical school 
of St. Louis University, established in 1836. Kemper College began 
its medical department only in 1840. There is no evidence that Secre- 
tary Calhoun opened correspondence with Bishop Du Bourg at St. 
Louis touching the education of Indian boys (2:15). The first church 
in St. Louis was erected in 1768 not in 1776 (1 :968). 

Misprints have been noted as follows: Castuc for (^asto (Gonz- 
alez), 1:966; Teagre for Tenagra (1:968); Classene for Claessens 
(1:512); Achenil for Acheul (2:6); Ande for Aude (2:7). 



The illustrations, most of them from the rich collection of the 
Missouri Historical Society, are numerous and well-chosen and are a 
real attraction to any lover of Missouri history. All in all, while not 
to be placed in the same category with Mr. Houck's splendid contrib- 
utions to the pioneer history of the state, Mr. Stevens' volumes will 
furnish a vast range of highly interesting reading matter for that 
very numerous class of persons to whom high standards of historical 
scholarship are not a matter of deep concern. 





Secretary of Propaganda} 

111. me ac Domine, 

1° Sempronius et Julia, contracto coram civili judice matri- 
monio, subinde vero legislativa auctoritate divortio separati, ad novas 
nuptias convolare cupiunt. Julia, catholica, ad Episcopum pro facul- 
tate nubendi confugit, allegans judicatum prioris Conjugii nulHtatem, 
ratione disparitatis ctiltus. — Sempronius quippe, nullius Religionis 
sequax, declarat se nusquam, quod ipse noverit, Baptismum in uUa 
secta suscepisse. Idemque testatur ipsius Avunculus, quocum a 
juventute, demortuis Parentibus, commoratus est. Quid tunc Epis- 
copus? Numquid potest fieri ut inscius ipse, inscioque avunculo, in 
infantia nempe, baptisatus fuerit, etsi nullum hujus indicium reman- 
eat? Ab V.a promptam et decisivam dubii istius solutionem 
supplex efflagito. 

II. E decern casibus ad quos limitata fuit concessa mihi facul- 
tas dispensandi super impedimento affinitatis in primo gradu laterali, 
quinque jam, infra octo a concessione menses, absumptis, pro amplia- 
tione ejusdem facultatis supplico. — Semel enim concessa ab Epo hujus- 
modi Dispensatio necessitatem quandam inducit in quocumque ejus- 
dem generis casu indulgendi, ne ignaris aut male affectis ansa de Epi 
partialitate conquerendi. et in Religionem ipsam invehendi, praebea- 
tur. Ad hoc, cum ejusmodi matrimonia legibus civilibus permissa 
sint, negante Ecclesia, periculum imminet ne partes ad judicem, vel 
pseudo-ministrum confugiant, ut jam plurimis, maximo Religionis de- 
trimento, evenit. 

Elapsi fere sunt decem anni a concessi mihi in Decennium gene- 
ralibus facultatibus. Iterum igitur pro earum renovatione postulo et 
fausta omnia adprecans 

Cum summa veneratione maneo 

Dominationis Illme ac Rmae 
Novae Aureliae Julii 26.a 1825 

Humills. ac devotissmus famulus 

+ LuD. GuiL. Epus Neo-Aurelianensis ac Rmo DD. 
Petro Caprano, S. C. de Prop. Fide secretario, Romam. 

1 Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scritture Referite net Congressi, Cod. 
8, America Centrale, Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama, Dal 1823 a tto il 1826. 




Most Rev. Archbishop: 

1° Sempronius and Julia, after contracting marriage before the 
Judge, were afterwards divorced by the Legislature and desire now 
to marry again. Julia, who is a Catholic, applies to the Bishop, alleg- 
ing that the former marriage has been declared null and void, owing 
to disparitas ciiltus.. As to Sempronius, who belongs to no religion, 
he declares that, as far as he knows, he was never baptized in any 
sect. The same is attested by his uncle, with whom he has lived from 
his early youth after the death of his parents. What is the Bishop to 
do? Alay it not be that, unknown to himself, and unknown to his 
uncle, Sempronius was baptized in infancy, though no evidence of it 
is extant. Please Your Grace to give me promptly a definite answer 
to this doubt. 

2. Of the ten cases to which was limited the faculty granted me 
to dispense from the impediment of relationship in the first degree in 
collateral line, five already within eight months have been used ; hence 
I beg for an extension of this faculty to more cases. For once the 
Bishop grants such a dispensation, he is morally obliged to grant it 
in similar cases, in order that he may not give to the ignorant and to 
the evil-minded reason to complain of his partiality and to attack Re- 
Igion on this score. Add to this that, as such marriages are lawful in 
the eyes of the civil law, if the Bishop refuse, there is danger that the 
parties will go to the judge, or even a so-called minister, as has already 
been done by many, to the utmost detriment of Religion. 

Ten years have almost elapsed since I received the Decennial 
general Faculties. I therefore beg for their renewal ; and with my 
best wishes to Your Grace, 

with the profoundest respect remain Your Grace's 
Most humble and devoted Servant 

+ Louis Wm., Bp. of New Orleans. 
New Orleans, July 26, 1825. 

To the ]\Iost Reverend 

Peter Caprano, Secretary of the S. C. of Propaganda, 



Pro-Prefect of Propaganda^ 

Eminentissime Domine Pro-Praefecte, 

Acceptis Sac. Cong.nis litteris, quibus jubeor ad Neo-Eboracensem 
sedem, Rmi D. Connolly morte viduatam, eos proponere quos maxime 
idoneos judicaverim. ad illani ex miserabili statu quo redacta est, 

^ Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scrifture Refcrite nei Congrcssi, Cod. 
8, America Centrale. Dal Canada all' Istnio di Panama, Dal 1823 a tio il 1826. 


erigendam ; nulla adjecta mora, mentem meam denuo aperiam. Denuo, 
inquam ; quia jam occasione translationis Rmi D. Cheverus a Boston- 
isensi ad Montalbanensem Cathedram, opinionem meam hac ipsa de re 
Sac. praesignificaveram. In eadam scilicet sententia, quam 
turn propugnavi, permaneo, nempe uniendas esse sub uno capite Neo- 
Eborac. et Boston. m Ecclesias, tum propter earum propinquitatem, 
qua fit ut duorum dierum spatio ab una ad alteram perveniri facile 
possit — tum quia utraque paucis congregationibus constat, Bostoniensis 
praecipue, quae vix duas vel tres, easque permodicas, extra urbem 
numerat, cujus proinde Episcopus 'vix a simplici Parocho discernitur. 
Haec quoque ab initio fuerat mensven. mem. Archipraesulis 
Joan. Carroll, uti pluries non solum Sac., sed et nobis 
familiaribus suis significavit, quae quidem praesenti experimento vide- 
tur satis superque confirmata ; nemini quippe nostrum dubium est 
nullitatem Dioecesis Bostoniensis praecipuam causam fuisse, cur 
Revmus D. Cheverus suae ab ea translationi manus ultro dederit. His 
adjuciendum puto quod, cum ex una parte lugenda experientia com- 
pertum sit, adventitios Praesules, etsi aliunde optimos, nondum tamen 
Americanis moribus, legibus ac usibus assuefactos, detrimentum potius 
Ecclesiis nostris quam utilitatem adferre ; ex altera vero, cum ad tot, 
sive jam erectas, sive in posterum erigendas in his Statibus sedes im- 
plendas, perpauci in Americano Clero adhuc existant, omnibus illis 
dotibus ornati, quas Apostolus enumerat, quoque in his regionibus 
multo magis necessaria sunt, quam forsan in alia quacumque, Epis- 
coipalis ordinis decus postulare videtur, ut, solum in casu verae mani- 
f estaeque utilitatis, novae erigantur cathedrae ; et si quae sint inter 
erectas, quae sine gravi incommode, immo potius cum majori Epis- 
copatus decoro, aliis uniri possint, uniantur. 

Quod attinet ad designationem Candidatorum, repetendum duco 
quod in praefata Epistola Sac. Cong.i affirmabam, vid. omnium quos 
usquam noverim, sacerdotum, longe aptissimum, et ut melius dicam, 
unicum vere et modis omnibus aptum, mihi videri Rev.m Bened. Fen- 
wick, 45 circiter annos natum, Societati Jesu plurimis abhinc annis 
mancipatum, alias Neo-Eboraci Pastorem, dein Charlestonii Vicarium 
generalem, subinde Carmelitis discalc. Sanctimonialibus praepositum, 
nunc Praesidem Collegii suae Soc.tis Georgiopoli in Marylandia. Hie 
praeterquam incomparabili prudentia et animorum tractandorum sol- 
ertia, spectata pietate, raraq. facundia ornatus ab omnibus agnosci- 
tur, duobus praesertim titulis ad sedem Neo-Eborac. praeferendus 
videtur: 1° utpote nativitate Americanus, quae res omnium opinionum 
et voluntatum, inter tot extraneas partes quibus infausta ilia Dioecesis 
miserrime distrahitur, ipsi conciliare summopere apta est. 2° quia in 
ea ipsa civitete tot amicos jam numerat quot civitas habet incolas, 
nulla facta distinctione sive religionum sive nationum. Necdum enim 
e memoria hominum excidit, quanto studio quantaq. efficicia vineae 
illi per plurimos annos adlaboraverit, et quot salutis fructus ex ea 
reportaverit, inter quos insignis fuit trium sectae angl. Ministrorum 
ad gremium Matris Ecclesiae conversio, duorumque ex his ad 


Sacerdotium provectio. Sed quod majus est, agrum ilium spinis et 
vepribus consitum susceperat excolendum, et paucorum annorum 
spation in amoenissimum hortum mutaverat. Disctssit heu ! et iterum 
exortae spinac siijfocavernnt ilium. Quid mirum quod morigerati 
omnes et Religionis studiosi ilium votis omnibus reclament? Unico 
impedimento irretitam viedo R.di Ben.ti Fenwick promotionem. So- 
cietatis sc. voto, quo dignitatibus renunciavit : sed hoc facilt, 
mandate apostolico ,potest dissolvi. Nova certe non erit hujusmodi 
dispensatio ; nee puto earn unquam ob graviora momenta f uisse con- 

Hie profecto, nisi aliter jussus, sisterem. Cum vero mihi in man- 
datis sit duo vel amplius proponere, inter quos, quem maximo pro- 
baverit, unum Sacra Cong.o seligat, 

2° loco Rev.m. Principem Demetrium Aug. De Galitzin designabo, 
virum satis jam Sac. ob eximias ipsius dotes, spectandum, 
quam ut meis encomiis egeat. Provecta tamen ipsius aetas, ad sexa- 
gesimum, ni fallor, attingens, infirma valetudo, origo extranea, et 
pauca, ut puto, magnarum civitatum experientia, totidem ipsius nomi- 
nationi obices adferre possunt. 

3° loco : Rev.m. D. McGuire, Hibernum sacerdotem, dudum Sac. 
Ces. Maj. Viennae concionatorem, nunc Pittsburgi in Pennsylvania 
Missionarium, de quo, etsi cum ipso nulla mihi necessitudo intersit, 
optime tamen sentio. Fateor nihilominus me adeo extraneis factionibus 
quae utram Neo-Eborae. et Philad.sem Ecclesias hucusque ver- 
terunt, esse perterritum, ut propter ejus originem, licet aliunde meri- 
tissimi, provectionem ejus pertimuerim. 

4° Idem dicam de Rev. do D. Power ejusdem nationis, a pluribus 
annis S.ti Petri Neo-Ebor. Pastore, et nunc, ni fallor, Dioecesis, sede 
vac. administratore, qui apud omnes, quos audierim, optimam famam 

His, cum mandatis Sac. Cong.nis plene satisfactum putem, nihil 
superest quam ut D. O. adprecam ut Vestram diu sospitem 
servet ac felicem, Me, cum omni reverentia, in sacrae purpurae am- 
plexu, subscribam, 

Eminentiae Vestrae 

Humillimum et famulum 

+ LuD. GuiL. Du BouRG, Ep. Neo-Aur. 
Natchitoches, in Louisiana 
in decursu Visit, eplis — die Oct. 6.a 1825. 


Your Eminence : 

I received the letter of the S. Congregation' directing me to pro- 
pose for the See of New York, bereft of its Bishop the Right Rev. 
Connolly, the candidates I deem most capable to raise it from the 
miserable condition into which it is sunk. Without delay I shall ex- 

2 This letter is not extant, at least in the Archives of the St. Louis Chancery. 


press once more my opinion on the matter. I say, once more, for at 
the time of the transfer of the Right Rev. Cheverus from the See of 
Boston to that of Montauban, I already made known to the S. Con- 
gregation what I thought on this subject.^ 1 am still of the same 
opinion which I then advocated, namely that the two Churches of 
New York and Boston ought to be united under one and the same 
head, both on account of their nearness, which pennits to go easily 
from the one to the other in two days, and because the one aad the 
other are made up of few parishes, Boston especially, which has only 
two or three, and these very small, outside the city, so that its Bishop 
is hardly more than an ordinary Pastor. Such in the beginning was 
likewise the view of the late Archbishop Jno. Carroll, which he ex- 
pressed repeatedly not only to the S. Congregation, but also to us his 
friends ; and the present experience, it seems, has more than confirmed 
this view. None of us indeed has the least doubt that the small- 
ness of the Diocese of Boston was the chief cause why the Right Rev. 
Cheverus lent a most willing hand to his transfer from there. I think 
I ought to add, too, that, on the one hand, as a sorrowful experience 
has made it evident that Prelates from abroad, even though otherwise 
excellent, but as yet unfamiliar with American practices, laws and 
customs, have proven rather detrimental than useful to our Churches; 
and, as on the other hand, to fill so many Sees, either actually in ex- 
istence, or to be erected later on, there are as yet very few American 
priests adorned with all the qualifications enumerated by the Apostle, 
and perhaps much more necessary in this country than anywhere else, 
the dignity of the Hierarchy seems to demand that new Sees should 
not be created except in cases of true and evident utility; and if, 
among those already in existence, there are some which may be united, 
without grave inconvenience, and perhaps even to the greater dignity 
of the Episcopate, then they should be united. 

In regard to the designation of Candidates, permit me to repeat 
here what I said in the afore-mentioned letter to the S. Congregation, 
namely, that of all the priests I know, by far the most suitable, or 
better still, the only one truly and all around suitable, seems to me to be 
the Rev. Benedict Fenwick : he is about 45 years of age, has belonged 
for a number of years to the Society of Jesus, was at one time Pastor 
of New York, then later Vicar General of Charleston, and afterwards 
Superior of the discalced Carmelite nuns, and is now President of the 
College of his Society at Georgetown, Maryland. His incomparable 
prudence and skill in dealing with men, his remarkable piety and rare 
eloquence are acknowledged by all ; and, besides, for two reasons, in 
my opinion, he should receive the preference for the See of New 
York: first, he is a native of America, and this in that unhappy Dio- 
cese, lamentably torn by so many foreign parties, is most capable to 
conciliate to him all opinions and wills ; secondly, in the city of New 

3 We are not in possession of this communication; as the transfer of 
Dr. Cheverus from Boston to Montauban took place in 1823, this must be the 
date of the letter here referred to. 


York he counts as many friends as there are inhabitants, irrespective 
of reHgion or nationality. People still remember the zeal and success 
with which he labored in that vineyard for a number of years, and the 
spiritual fruits which he reaped there, in particular the conversion of 
three Anglican ministers, two of whom were later promoted to the 
priesthood. And what is best, is that this field, which was so full of 
thorns and brambles when he took charge, was by his care transmuted 
within a few years into a most pleasant garden. No sooner had he 
left, than, alas ! the thorns cropping up again smothered it all. No 
wonder then, that all upright people and all those who have at heart 
the care of religion wish ardently for his return. There is only one 
obstacle that I see in the way of his promotion, namely, the Society's 
vow to renounce all ecclesiastical dignities : but that impediment may 
be easily removed by a command of the Holy See. Such a dispensation 
would certainly be no novelty ; nor do I think that it was ever granted 
for a graver cause. 

Here I should stop if I had not been told to propose two or more 
from among whom the S. Congregation may choose the one most 
acceptable to it. 

In the second place I shall mention the Rev. Prince Demetrius Au- 
gustine de Galitzin, so well known already to the S. Congregation on 
account of his excellent qualities as to need no recommendation of 
mine. However, his advancing age — he is about sixty, if I mistake 
not — , his poor health, his foreign origin, and, so far, as I know, his 
limited experience of the ministry in large cities, may prove as many 
difficulties against his appointment. 

In the third place: the Rev. McGuire, a native of Ireland; 
formerly preacher to His Holy Imperial Majesty at Vienna, now on 
the Mission of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania ; although I do not know him 
personally, I have heard much good of him. I confess, however, I 
am so much afraid of the foreign parties which have turned topsy 
turvy the churches of both New York and Philadelphia, that on 
account of his nationality, and even though he may otherwise be most 
worthy, I should be afraid of his promotion. 

I would say the same of a fourth, the Rev. Power, also an Irish- 
man who has been for a number of years Rector of St. Peter's, Nevv^ 
York, and now is, if I mistake not. Administrator of the Diocese: all 
who speak of him entertain a high opinion of him. 

Having, I trust, fully satisfied to the wishes of the S. Congrega- 
tion, it remains to me only to pray Almighty God to keep Your Em— 
nence yet long in good health and happiness, and. kissing the sacred 
purple, to snbscripe myself, with the profoundest respect, 
of Your Eminence, 

the most humble and obedient Servant 

+ L. Wm. Du Bourg, Bp. of New Orl. 
Natchitoches, Louisiana, 
in the course of the Episc. Visitation, October 6, 1825. 




Secretary of Propaganda} ac 

Literae Amp.nis tiiae, datae 16 Octobris proximi elapsi, hac ipsa 
hora mihi redditae jubent ut mentem meam aperte significem de Sacer- 
dote Cellini, sc. qui sint hominis mores, quae pietas, quae prudentia, 
doctrinaque, qua de causa a me Pastoris m-unere privatus sit, careatne 
vere pecunia, sitne tandem sacerdos cujus opera titilis esse in Mis- 
sionarii officio possit. 

De moribus et pietate valde delicata est quaestio. Debeo tamen 
veritati aperte dicere D.num Cellini ita imprudenter se gessisse erga 
certam Matronam viduam aliunde de Religione optime meritam, in 
cujus domo habitabat, ut vehementibus suspicionibus apud plerosque 
e suis parochianis ansam dederit. Hie enim ut plurimum videbatur 
non solum incongruo, sed vere indecenti habitu, etiam in cubiculo 
matronae, indutus, patroni personam gerere, omnes quotquot sibi dis- 
plicebant a Mulieris conspectu et colloquio arcere, quin et epistolas ad 
eam directas aperire, imo et supprimere, famulis suprema et vere herili 
auctoritate mandare, uno verbo modos omnes assumere quae soli 
marito conveniunt. Caeterum parochianos superbe, dureque tractabat 
et lapis scandali erat, potiusquam verus et studiosus ovium suarum 
Pastor. — Quae quidem mihi abunde suffecissen, ut eum ab ilia parochia 
ad aliam transferrem. Verum ulterius processerat malum, et eo usque 
devenerat, ut nisi severius in eum egissem, Religioni, meo, quoq. ipsi 
characteri insanabile vulnus impegissem. Hie scilicet, artibus suis ita 
debilem et credulam mulierem circumegit, ut ab ipsa plenam et inte- 
gram bonorum suorum, utique non mediocrum, donationem sibi fieri 
obinuerit. Quod ubi rescitum est, universus exortus est clamor, et non 
defuerunt qui mortem ipsi D. Cellini minitarentur. De his omnibus 

^ Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scriitiire Referite net Congressi, Cod. 
8, America Centrale, Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama, Dal 1823 a tto il 1826. 

The tone of this letter, and the impassioned wording of the Bishop strictures 
on the character and conduct of Father Cellini, imanifest clearly that the prelate 
was under the influence of his oversensitiveness at the time of writing. It is 
evident Bishop Du Bourg had lent a too complacent ear to gossipy reports. 
When one remembers the great praises bestowed on Father Cellini when the 
latter was in Missouri, and even some time after he had gone to Grand Coteau, 
La., one cannot resist the impression ithat this total reversal of feeling was 
due to some personal wound received directly or indirectly from Cellini. No 
dbiibt the latter's influence on Mrs. Smith, and the donation made by her of 
her property to Father Cellini, had a great deal to do with the Bishop's judg- 
ment. But there is another side to the affair, which, right or wrong, must be 
gathered from Cellini's correspondence. At any rate, such a prudent — tven 
timid — disinterested witness as Father De Neckere, reported to Bishop Rosati 
in a way that makes us understand that Father Cellini was not as black as he 
is here represented. Rosati's report, too, was very mild; and, at a later date, 
after the departure of Bishop Du Bourg, he did not hesitate to give him a 
place in the Diocese of St. Louis. 


certior factus, ipsum jussi me adire de gravibus quibusdam negotiis 
mecum agiturum : quod cum venisset, Uteris ipsi significavi ne in paro- 
chiam suam quacumque de causa regrederetur. Cui jussioni fiedum 
obtemperaret, confestim regressus est, contra Episcopum, suum quoq. 
superiorem Rmum D. Rosati, in cujus Congreg.m quinque abhinc annis 
receptus fuerat, acerrimas et impudentissimas ventilans querimonias; 
illicque probabilius remanisset, ni Sacerdos quidam, quem eo ipse 
miseram, mali progressus exploraturum. excommunicationem ei, meo 
nomine, minatus esset. 

His paucis plene satisfactum mihi videtur petitis de ipsius pie- 
tate, moribus et prudentia. 

Quoad pisius doctrinam attinet, vere dicam pausos ignorantiores, 
similque in sua opinione pervicaciores, me unquam offendisse. 

Utrum vero pecunia careat, haec duo mihi constant — fere 
mille scitatis romanis onustum hinc discessisse, 2um non ita pridem 
quadringentos, in cambiali contra D.num Lanov Parisiis, ipsi ab eadem 
matrona fuisse transmissos. 

Hinc judicabit Vestra quam utilem homo hujus farinae 
eperam istis missionibus conferre possit. Vae cuivis Episc.o qui cum 
eo agendum habiturus sit. 

Precans Deum ut Amphtudinem Tuam diutius sospitet et servet 
Amp.nis Tuae Ilhnae ac R.mae 
Cum summa reverentia maneo 
Humill. observantiss. 

«i< LuD. GuiL. Epus Neo-Aurel.s 
Nova Aureliae Jan.i 26, 1826 
Illmo ac Rmo D. Pietro Caprano 
SS. CC. de Prop. Fide a Secretis 

Sigillata erat Epistola, quum mihi occurrit jam ante discessum CeUini, inter eum et praefatam matronam convenisse de ips'ius 
reditu cum aphca missione, deque amborum transmigratione in Ken- 
tukium, qua de causa ipsa jam omnia sua vendidit eo quam primum 
ipsi praecursura, et ei memoratos 400 nummos, in viae subsidium, 
transmisit. Nil igitur mirum quod tam ardenter missionem scilHcitet 
quam si obtinuerit, compatiat charissimo Fratri meo Bardensi : nullum 
enim novi hominem inobedientiorem Epli auctoritati infensiorem. 

•f" LuD. GuiL. Epus Neo-Aurel.s. 


Secretary of Propaganda.^ 
111. me ac Rev. me Domine, 

Inter negotiorum et afflictionum varietatem quibus continuo op- 
presus jaceo, mihi ad Amp.m Tuam scribenti, e memoria semper exci- 

^ Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scritture Referite nei Congressi, Cod. 
8, America Centralc, Dal Canada all' htmo di Panama, Dal 1823 a tto il 1826. 


dit postulare transumptum authenticum Bullae creationis hujus Sedis 
Novae Aureliae, datae anno 1795, quod in archivio nostro deest, forsan 
ab eo ex industria sublatum opera eorum quorum interest negare 
Ecclam parochialem S.ti Ludovici in hac urbe, in Cathedralem fuissc 
erectam. Necessarium etiah esset, ut omnis quaecumque toUatur de 
illlius Instrumenti fidelitate dubietas au cavillatio, subscriptionem 
Secretarii Cancellariae Romanae authenticari per Consulum America- 
num, si quis Romae degerit ; sin minus per Ministrum Plenipotentia- 
rium ejusdem nationis apud Regem Christianissimum, quod obtineri 
facile poterit, mediante Legato Franciae apud Sanctam Sedem, qui 
ipse affirmare potest dictam subscriptionem, et instrumentum ita fir- 
matum Parisios ad Ministrum exterarum relationum transmittere, ut 
ibi a memorato Foederatorum Statuum Plenipotentiario chirograph© et 
sigillo suo muniatur, et inde transmittatur Consuli Franciae in hac 
Civitate qui illud reddat vel mihi, vel me absente, J.pho 
Rosati, meo Coadjutori. De hoc ad Amp.m Tuam scribere pluries 
animus mihi fuerat ; sed specialiter hodie mihi recurrit occasione 
epistolae cujusdam anni 1807, quam in scriniis nostris reperi, cujus 
scriptor Vicarium generalem, Sede vacante, alloquens eum arcet a 
sacris officiis in dicta Ecclesia, die quodam festivo, celebrandi, ea 
ratione quod, cum sibi constaret Ecclesam S.ti Ludovici nunquam 
auctoritate pontificia in cathedralem erectam fuisse, nullum vicario 
etiam E.po jus illud denegent. Certe ultimis hisce diebus agitata est 
quaestio, utrum cathedram Episcopalem in ea erectam subsistere sine- 
rent. Et fateor audaciam qua cum mendacium illud affirmatum erat, 
mihi ipsi per plures anos fucum fuisse, donee in manibus R.mi Archi- 
epi D. jMareschal memoratae erectionis bullae exemplar perlegi, in quo 
disertis verbis designatur parochialis S.ti Ludovici Novae- Aureliae ut 
cathedralis, donee alia possit assignari. Precor igitur ut quam primum 
hue transmittatur preciosum illud monumentum omnibus formalitati- 
bus, ut supra, munitum. Interim precor Deum optimum, ut Amp.m 
Tuam diu sospitem servet et incolumem. 


Jan. 30, 1826 

Amplitudinis Tuae Illmae ac Revmae 

Humillimus et obseq.mus famulus 

+ LuD. GuiL. Epus Neo Aurel. 
111. mo ac 
D. P. Caprano 


Most Reverend Dear Archbishop : 

In the midst of the many affairs and troubles which beset me con- 
tinually, I have always, in my letters to your Grace, forgotten to ask 
for a authentic Copy of the Bull of erection of this See of New 
Orleans. This Bull, issued in 1795, is not to be found in our archives, 
whence perhaps it was abstracted by such as had. interest in denying 


that the parish Church of St. Louis, in this city, had been erected into 
the Cathedral? It would be necessary also, in order to cut the root of 
all doubt or cavil as to the genuineness of this document, to have the 
signature of the Secretary of the Roman Chancery certified by the 
American Consul, if ithere is one in Rome ; or, in case there be none, 
by the Plenipotentiary Minister of America to the Most Christian 
King — which may be obtained easily through the Ambassador of 
France to the Holy See, who himself may certify the afore-mentioned 
signature, and then transmit the document 'thus countersigned by him 
to the Minister of Foreign Relations in Paris, where the Plenipoten- 
tiary of the United States may affix his signature and Seal to it, and 
have it forwarded to the French Consul in this City, who will hand it 
to me, or, in my absence, to the Right Rev. Joseph Rosati, my Co- 
adjutor. It had been repeatedly my intention to write to Your Grace 
about this affair ; put particularly to-day did the thought came back 
to my mind, suggested by a certain letter, dated 1807, which I found 
in our archives ; in this letter addressed to the Vicar General, during 
the vacancy of the See, the writer forbids the said Vicar General to 
officiate in the Church of St. Louis on a certain feast-day, on the plea 
that, as he was sure the church had never been by Pontifical authority 
raised to the dignity of cathedral, the Vicar General had absolutely 
no right to preside therein. This is enough to make one fear that this 
same right might be denied even to the Bishop. At any rate the ques- 
tion was lately agitated, whether the Episcopal throne placed in it 
could be allowed to remain. I must confess that the audacity with 
which this falsehood was affirmed, for several years imposed upon me, 
until I read in the hands of the Most Rev. Archb. Marechal a copy 
of the Bull of this erection, in which the parish-church of St. Louis 
is explicitly designated as the Cathedral of New Orleans, until another 
could be assigned. I beg you, therefore, to forward me at your earliest 
convenience this most precious document furnished with all the for- 
malities mentioned above. IMeanwhile I pray God to keep Your Grace 
in good health. 

I am, Most Reverend Archbishop, 

Your most humble and devoted Servant 

+ Louis Wm. Bp. of New Orl. 
New Orleans, Januar 30, 1826 
The Most Rev. P. Caprano 

2 It will be recalled that the erection of the Church of St. Louis into the 
Cathedral of the new Diocese of New Orleans was recorded by Father P. 
Zamora in the Baptism Register of the parish of St. Landry. Opelousas, La. 
Sec Review. Vol. III. January— April, 1821, p. 22. 




Secretary of Propaganda} 

lUme ac Domine, P. rone 

Mihi proposueram nihil de recenti institutione Vic.i Aplici pro 
Floridis et Alabama Roniam scribere, ne forte suspicio aliqua oriretur 
me hujusmodi determinationis esse contrarium. Puto tamen me officio 
meo defuturum, si amplius hac de re silerem. Jam satis superque 
manifestaveram Sac. Congr.i non solum per me non stare quo minus 
Floridae a mea jurisdictione separarentur, imo id mihi cum primis in 
votis semper fuisse. His quod adjungatur Alabama sub uno Vicario 
Aplico, nihil meo judicio desiderabilius. Sed duo sunt super quibus 
mihi videtur praemature actum fuisse. 

l.m Necesse fuerat explorare utrum media suppeterent, quibus 
hujusmodi Vicarius, tum suis, cum Missionariorum necessitatibus 
prospicere posset. Circa quod aperte dicere, possum et debeo, exceptis 
duabus vel tribus parochiis quae vix in praesentiarum uni parocho 
sufficere unaquaeque valet, nihil omnio in hoc immenso terrarum tractu 
subsidii pro Religionis fomento inveniri. 

Perpauci quippe sunt, iique longis spatiis distracti, et insuper 
pauperrimi Catholici. Prima igitur esse deberet Sac. solicitu- 
do, fundum aliquem stabilire vel saltem redditum annuum determi- 
nare. quo Vicarius et duo vel tres saltem itinerantes Missionarii, 
alerentur, nullo populis imposito gravamine. Sic certe aliquid spe- 
randum esset, secus nullo modo. 

Secundum : quoad designationem personae, mihi videtur Sacram 
Congr.m in errore fuisse inductam a quocumque Rev. Michaelem 
Portier ipsi proposuit. Consulto insinatus fuisse suspicor dictum 
Sacerdotum esse Lugdunensem presbyterum ; nimirum ut ne quidem 
putaret Sacra Congregatio de consulendo mecum circa dotes et idonei- 
tatem eligendi. Ita certe est, si natalitia considerentur ; verum si 
sacerdos Cong.i expositum fuisset juvenem ilium ab aetate viginti an- 
norum, meae Diocesi fuisse adscitum, sub oculis meis continuo versatum, 
et a me ad Sacros ordines promotum, puto nulla alia ex parte quaestitas 
fuisse informationes. Quae si a me fuissent sciscitatae, nihil pro- 
gressum hac in re fuisset, cum veritati debeam dicere esti virtue et 
ingenio praeditum, longe adhuc ab hac gravitate, moderatione, sui 
imperio, doctrina ecclesiastica, prudentia, experientia, quae episcopum 
decent, praesertim in hujusmodi regionibus, ubi sibi soli sufificere 
debeat, distare Rev.m Mich. Portier; quod mirum videre non potest 
si consideretur eum, a tempore ordinationis suae, sex circiter abhinc 
annis, vix duos Sacro Ministerio, reliquos institutioni juventutis in 
primariis scholis devovisse. Quod profecto in causa fuit cur omnibus 
ad quorum notitiam pervenit ejus institutio, admirationem maximam 

1 Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scritture Referite nei Congressi, Cod. 
8, America Ccntrale, Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama, Dal 1823 tto il 1826. 


faceret. Utrum acceptare, an declinare onus sibi propositum deberet 
Me interrogavit ; et licet mentem de negotio tarn delicato, super quo 
Sacra Cong.o mecum consultandum non judicaverat, ipsi aperire repu- 
gnarem, victus tamen ejus precibus, efficii paterni tandem esse duxi, 
quid de ipsius idoneitate, quidque de hujusmodi oneris gravitate sen- 
tirem, palam significare ; quo factum est ut absque haesitatione ulla 
literas Aplicas Romam cum suis excusationibus remitteret. 

Haec omnia ad Amp.m Vestram scribendum putavi ; non, quod 
absit, querimoniae modo, sed ut muneri meo faciam satis. Hie enim 
potissimum applicanda mihi videtur D. Cypriani sententia : Episco- 
patum esse in solidiim. 

Quod ad me attinet, Illme Domine, summa impatientia Paschatis 
solemnitatem praestolor, quam profectionis meae in Europam termi- 
num praefixi. Longior quippe mea in hac regione permanentia neque 
cum bono Religionis, nee cum familiae meae securitate consistere 
potest. Multuis mihi fuit labor, praeteritis his temporibus, nepotum, 
imo et Fratris mei charissimi vindictam in aggressores meos compe- 
scere, et vix una nunc transit hebdomada, quin in diariis libellis aliqua 
in me jactentur convitia, occasione infelicis illius hispani sacerdotis 
(Sigura) in unam e suburbanis ecclesiis laica auctoritate intrusi cui, 
etsi ab ipsimet suis fautoribus summopere contemnantur, in odium 
tamen mei, aperte patrocinantur ; indeque permulti ansam arripiunt 
veterem in mobilem projiciendi. Quamdiu naturalium meorum de- 
fensorum brachia ligare amplius detur, plane nescio ; cum tamen sola 
cogitatio quod, mei causa, sanguis,- memorum cognatroum fundi 

possit nullam mihi requiem habere patitur. 

Haec, ut spero, mihi apud Beatissimum Patrem nostrum favebit 
excusalio, pro dimissa mea aut ad tempus Coadjutori meo assignata 
non expectato Sanctitatis Suae consensu. In hoc enim mihi suffragare, 
imo et imperare videtur Ju3 ipsum naturale ; nee unquam potiori 
ratione praesumendus mihi videtur fuisse Superioris assensus. Quod 
si necesse fuerit Romam petere, ut causam meam coram Sanctissimo 
Domino et Patre nostro dicam, quod spero me brevi post adventum 
in Galham resciturum, incunctanter pergam, nihil dubitans eum mihi 
fore propitium. 

Interea Deum enixe rogans ut Amplitudinem Vestram diu suspi- 
tem servet ac felicem, 

Cum summa reverentia maneo 

Amplitudinis Illmae ac Rmae 
Nova Feb. 17, 1826 

Humillimus et obsequentissimus famulus 

+ L. GuiL. Du BouRG Epus Neo-Aur. 

Illmo ac DD. Petro Caprano, Archbo Icon. S. Cong, de Prop. 
Fid a secretis 

Word illegible. 



Most Reverend Dear Archbishop : 

I had resolved not to write about the recent institution of a Vicar 
ApostoHc and at least two or three itinerant missionaries without im- 
suspicion that I was opposed to this decision. However I would con- 
sider it a breach of duty on my part if I kept silence any longer. I 
have long since manifested more than sufficiently that not only I was 
not averse to the separation of Florida from my jurisdiction, but even 
that this was all along one of my great wishes. That Alabama be 
joined to Florida under one and the same Vicar Apostolic, nothing, 
in my opinion, is more desirable. But there are two points on which 
it seems to me action was taken prematurely. 

1° There should have been some inquiry made as to whether 
there are at hand the means to support both the Vicar Apostolic and 
his missionaries. On this subject I may — and must — say openly, that, 
with the exception of two or three parishes which actually can sup- 
port each one priest, and that with difficulty, no means whatever are 
to be found in that immense territory 'to foster the development of 

For, as a matter of fact, the Catholics there are very few, and 
far apart, and, moreover, very poor. The first object of the solici- 
tude of the S. Congregation should be to establish some fund, or at 
least determine some annual income, which could support the Vicar 
Apostolic and at least two or three itinerant missionaries without im- 
posing any burden on the people. In this way, one could hope for 
something; otherwise nothing is to be hoped for. 

2° In regard to the designation of the person, it seems to me 
(that the S. Congregation has been induced into error by anyone who 
proposed to it the Rev. Michael Portier. I have a suspicion it was 
deliberately intimated that that priest belongs to the clergy of_ Lyons : 
this was done clearly in order to prevent the S. Congregation from 
consulting me about the qualifications and fitness of the candidate. 
The assertion is true, in so far as his birthplace is concerned; still if 
that gentleman had told the S. Congregation that this young man has 
been incorporated into my Diocese since he was twenty years of age, 
has lived constantly under my very eyes, was promoted by me to 
Sacred Orders, I am convinced that informations would not have been 
sought anywhere else than here. Now had I been asked these infor- 
mations, the affair would have stopped right there, as I owe it to 
truth to declare, that virtuous and talented as the Rev. Michael Portier 
is, he is still far from possessing that gravity, moderation, self-control, 
ecclesiastical knowledge, prudence and experience, which a Bishop 
must have, particularly in this country, where he has to reckon^ on 
himself alone. These deficiencies of his will not appear surprising, 
if one but considers that, since the time of his ordination, about six 
years ago, he has exercized the sacred ministry for scarcely two years, 
the rest being spent in teaching in primary schools. Hence the utmost 
surprise of all those who have heard of his appointment. He has 


asked me whether he should accept or decline the burden offered him ; 
despite my reluctance to express my opinion on so delicate a subject 
upon which the S. Congregation did not deem it fit to consult me, yield- 
ing at last to his entreaties, I have considered it my duty as a father 
to let him know plainly what I thought about his fitness and the weight 
of such a burden. Whereupon without any hesitation he has sent 
back the Apostolic letters with his excuses. 

I have thought it well to write all this to Your Grace, not to 
complain — far be the thought ! — but to discharge my duty. This is in- 
deed preeminently a case where, to my mind, we should apply the say- 
ing of St. Cyprian, that "the Episcopate stands and falls together." 

As to myself. Most Reverend Archbishop, I am awaiting most 
impatiently the feast of Easter, which I have determined as the date 
of my departure for Europe. For a longer stay in this country is in- 
compatible with both the good of Religion and the safety of my fam- 
ily. I had a great deal of trouble lately ito stop my nephews, nay even 
my dearest brother from taking revenge of those Avho attack me; and 
now scarcely a week passes by that I am not grossly insulted in the 
newspapers at the occasion of that miserable Spanish priest (Sigura), 
who was foisted upon the church of one of the suburbs by 'the trustees ; 
even though this man is utterly dispised by his abettors, yet these, out 
of hatred towards me, make themselves openly his supporters ; this 
incident has resulted in many taking this opportunity to " . . . How 
long I shall yet be able to restrain my natural defenders, I know not; 
but the mere thought that on my account blood — the blood of my 
relatives — may be shed does not leave me a moment's res't. 

This, I trust, shall be with our Holy Father an excellent excuse 
for my resigning my burden or confiding it temporarily to my Co- 
adjutor, without waiting for the consent of His Holiness.^ This course 
seems to be approved, nay even commanded, by Natural Law itself, 
and in no case were there ever better reasons, it seems to me, to 
presume the Superior's consent. Should it be necessary for me to go 
to Rome, in order to plead my cause before the Holy Father, I hope 
I shall learn it soon after landing in France, and I will start at once, 
having no doubt that he will grant my petition. 

Meanwhile, praying God earnestly to keep Your Grace yet many 
years in good health and happiness, 

I remain with the most profound respect. 
Your Grace's 

Most humble and obedient servant 

Hh L. Wm. Du Bourg, Bp. of New Orl. 
New Orleans, Febr. 17, 1826 
To the Most Rev. Peter Caprano, Archb. of Iconium, Secretary of 


8 This letter, and in it, this paragraph and the preceding, are most important 
in the history of Bishop Du Bourg's mysterious resignation. Here he alleges 
his main reason for this step; other motives will be adduced in subsequent 
letters; but they obviously played only a secondary part in his reaching this 
momentous decision. 



Secretary of Propaganda} 

111. me ac Domine, P. rone, 

Etsi verear me literarum mearum frequentia patientiam Amp.nis 
Vestrae fatiget, quaedam tamen, praecedentibus meis addenda viden- 
tur, per quae illis, ut praesertim posterioribus, robur accedat. 

Jam satis, et ad nauseam usque, de odio quo homines isti oderunt 
me gratiis, aureis Sacrae et Vestrae Amp. is obtudi. Nescio 
tamen quomodo me fugit observare hinc' scandalum pluribus e meo 
clero subortum, hinc etiam aliquos ansam arripuisse liberius et inso- 
lentius mecum agendi ; inter quos, et in primis, R.m Michaelem 
Portier, eum ipsum quem ad Episcopatum, tremendum in liis regioni- 
bus onus promovere cogitat Sacra Cong.o, me piget nominare. Unde 
pajtet me nuUi proficuum amplius hie esse posse. Utruni odium mea 
culpa mihi provenerit, nescio, Deus scit — Hoc scio, quod bonitatem 
et indulgentiam ad extremos limites, erga omnes, exercuerim, et quod 
nullum verbum, etiam sacerdotum contemptui aut insolentiae unquam 
opposuerim, veritus scilicet eos inimicorum meorum phalangi se ad- 
juncturos, et dissentiones clericorum cum Epo maximo scandalo occa- 
sionem daturas. — Non quod suspicatum velim praefatum Rev.m 
Portier fide aut virtutibus esse destitutum ; sed levis omnino et incon- 
sideratus homo est, jugi cujuslibet impatiens ,indepenliam affectans, 
nullam anini finitatem et firmitatem habens, paratusque omni vento 

Facile animedvertit Sacra Cong.o in hujusmodi circumstantiis, 
me, alioqui summa sensibilitate praeditum, omnium hominum infeli- 
cissimum esse debere ; et ita res se habet ; adeo ut servorum sortem, 
meae comparatam, paradisum judicaverim ; nihilque dubitarem in 
severissimo Monasterio poenitentiam ad ultimum vitae terminum, si 
Summo Pontifici libuerit, protrahere quam vel unum amplius annum 
hoc onere gr^vatum expetere. 

Vix credi potest quam contagiosa, ipsimet clero, virisque alias 
morigeratis, sint libertatis et independentiae principia quae in his 
Statibus per omnes sensus imbibunt ; unde mihi semper persuasum 
fuit vix aliquid boni sperari posse nisi ex Congregationibus, aut ordini- 
bus religiosis, in quibus viget stricta obedientia. Hinc continuum 
studium meum ad fovendas hujusmodi fundationes in ista Dioecesi, 
ingratissima et difficillima omnium. Hinc sperandum est R.mum D. 
Rosati, cum aliunde universali existimatione tum Cleri, cum populi 
gaudeat, ope suae Congregationis utilissimam Religioni operam in hac 
Louisiana navaturum. — Nihilque mea prolongata commoratione face- 
rem, nisi bonum illud retardare, quin et forsan ilia ipsa dilatione diffi- 
ciliuis aut etiam impossibile redere. Plaec, cum coram Deo parata 

1 Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scritture Referite nci Congressi, Cod. 
8, America Centrale, Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama, Dal 1823 a tto il 1826. 


mente revolvo, magis ac magis persuadeor, nedum ipsius divinae vol- 
untati abdicatione mea contradicam, imo nihil agere me posse quod 
ipsius gloriae et ovium mihi concreditarum utilitati magis consonum 

Parcat importunitati meae Vestra, et misertus tam 
deplorandae sortis, manum adjutoriam extendere non dedignetur, 
Humillimo sue et famulo 

+ LuD. GuiL. Ep.o N. Aurel. 
Novae Aureliae Feb.rii 27, 1826. 
Illmo ac Petro Caprano 
S. C. de Prop. Fide a secretis. 


Most Reverend Dear Archbishop: — 

Even though I have reason to be afraid that my frequent letters 
are tiresome to your Grace, there are a few things which it seems 
necessary to add to my previous communications in order to render 
them, especially the last, more weighty. 

Enough and more than enough have I already dinned into the 
ears of the S. Congreg. and of Your Grace about the unjust hatred 
wherewith these people hate me. I forgot, however,! know not how, 
to remark that this has caused scandal among quite a number of my 
clergy, and has furnished to others a pretext to act with me disrespect- 
fully and even insolently. Among the latter I am sorry to have to 
mention above all the Rev. Michael Portier,- the self-same man whom 
the S. Congregation intends to appoint to the Episcopal dignity, — a 
burden really tremendous in this country. Hence it is clear that my 
usefulness here is absolutely at an end. Whether this hatred has come 
to me by my own fault. I know not ; God knows it. But this I know, 
namely, that I extended kindness and indulgence even to the extreme 
limits, towards all, and that I never replied a word even to the ex- 
pressions of contempt or insolence of the priests, being afraid that 
these would swell the ranks of my enemies, and that dissensions be- 
tween the Clergy and the Bishop might give rise to grave scandal. In 
saying this my intention is not to give the impression that Fr. Portier 
is lacking in faith or virtue ; but he is given to levity, inconsiderate, 

- It would not be fair to pass an unfavorable judgment on Bishop-Elect 
Michael Portier, on ithe sole evidence of this accusation of Bishop Du Bourg, 
The prelate had always been very sensitive to criticism; and it seems that 
Father Martial did not go very far astray in his appreciation, when he wrote 
to his friend Billaud, at the French Em,l>assy in Rome that the Bishop, who was 
weak with those who flattered him, could not brook any criticism. Did Father 
Portier, about the time of the writing of this letter, forgetful of the over- 
sensitiveness of the prelate, venture to make some unflattering remark? We 
cannot say with certainty, although this seems to be what is intimated by the 
Bishop. Falling upon overwrought nerves, the criticisms of Portier must have 
caused a deep and painful wound. Bishop Du Bourg analyzed excellently 
his own case when he says, some lines below : "In the midst of such circum- 
stances, most keenly sensitive as I am, I must be the most unhappy of men." 


restive, affecting independence, purposeless, devoid of firmness and 
ever ready to veer with every wind. 

The S. Congregation may easily understand that, in the midst of 
such circumstances, moist keenly sensitive as I am, I must be the most 
unhappy of men ; and indeed such is the case, so much so, in fact, that 
I should deem the condition of slaves actually a paradise, compared 
to my onw condition, and I would not hesitate to ask to end my days, if 
it so please the Sovereign Pontiff, in the most rigorous Monastery 
rather than remain only one year with that burden. 

It is scarcely possible to realize how contagious even to the clergy 
and to men otherwise well disposed, are the principles of freedom and 
independence imbibed by all the pores in these United States. Hence 
I have always been convinced that practically all the good to be hoped 
for must come from the Congregations or religious Orders among 
which flourishes strict discipline. Wherefore my constant care has 
always been to foster the foundation of such establishments in this 
most ungrateful and difif^cuk Diocese. For this reason it is to be 
hoped that the Right Rev. Bp. Rosati, who ,at any rate enjoys the 
esteem of all. among both the clergy and laity, by means of his Con- 
gregation, may do very good work in Louisiana. My staying longer 
here would do nothing but delay this good ; nay even perhaps might it 
contribute to render it more difficult, or even impossible. When I 
meditate all these things before God, I become more and more con- 
vinced that not only shall I not go against the will of God in resign- 
ing my See, but I can do nothing better and nothing more perfectly in 
accordance with His glory and the utility of 'the flock committed to 
my care. 

Please your Grace pardon my insistence, take pity on my deplor- 
able condition, and deign extend a helping hand to 

Your most humble and obedient Servant 

+ L. Wm., Bp. of N. Orl. 
New Orleans, February 27, 1826. 
To the Most Rev. Peter Caprano, 
Secretary of Propaganda. 



Secretary of Propaganda} ac Domine, Prone, 

Recens accepi a Rmo Collega nostro Bardensi, Epistolam, quam 
operae pretium duxi, autographum ad Amp.m Ves'tam transmittere, 
ut quae sit inter Epos istorum statuum, de nominationibus ad vacantes, 
aut recens institutas sedes, opinionum consensio, meliori et compen- 

^ Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scritture Refcrite nei Congressi, Cod. 
America Centrale, Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama, Dal 1823 a ito il 1826. 


diosiori via discere poss't. Est haec epistola responsio uni e meis in 
qua fratribus meis consilium meum hac de re proponebam, quam id- 
circo, anglico idiomate, ut erat conscriptam, illi adjiciendam putavi. 

Doleo valde, Religionis causa, quod in casu Presb.i Michaelis 
Portier, omissae fuerit consuetae indagationes, praesertim ab iis prae- 
sulibus quibus notus sit, et sub quorum regimine per octo ultimos 
annos est conservatus. Quidquid alii de eo asserere potuerint referri 
solum potest ad ipsius adolescentiam. Vix enim undevicesimum at- 
tigerat, cum Lugduno sub meo ductu exiit, moribus sane et igenio inter 
aequales conspicuus, sed adhuc nimium juvenis, ut quis deinceps futu- 
rus esset certo potuerit conjici. Exinde vero ne pedem quidem a mea 
dioecesi unquam movit, nuUi proinde ex Americanis Epis, praeter me 
et Coadjutorem meum se dignoiscendum praebuit. Ut primum sonuit 
vox hujus nomination's, a risu temperare non potuerunt plerique ipsius 
amici et consacerdotes ; sed quod me mnlto accerbiori dolore affecit, 
ipsimet laici et mulieres, etiam inter morigeratos, summam admiratio- 
nem testati sunt, quod juvenis quem nihil inter aequales distinguit 
aut commendat, qui nulla rerum experientia pollet, ad tantam et tarn 
arduam dignitatem evectus fuerit. Non defuerunt qui me hujus de- 
terminationis accusarent, quibus vix persuadere potui nullam in ea 
partem me habuisse, nee unquam fuisse consultum. Quod si probi et 
religiosi ita sentiant, quid erit de dissolutis et impiis, quibus ista regio 
scat it ? 

Nolim Amp.m Vestram suspicari, me aegre ferre sive Floridarum 
separationem, sive amissionem D. Portier; illam enim diu postu- 
lavi, nee aliud de extensione ilia territorii praeter molestia mihi acce- 
dit. Istum vero, propter animi inconstantiam et affectatam indepen- 
dentiam, alio se transferre cuperem, praesertim ubi sub obedientiae 
vinculo fraenata ipsius levitate, naturales ipsius dotes ad majorem 
ecclesiae utilitatem possent maturescere. Ad hoc nuUuis utrivis de- 
siderio nunc mihi locus esse potest, qui, quod ad me attinet nihil praeter 
meam liberationem aut cupio aut cogito, sed etsi sponsus istius Eccle- 
siae esse desinam, non cessabo tamen ipsi bene velle, et illius augmen- 
tum prop posse promovere. Ideo sententiam meam de iis quae ad Re- 
ligionis honorem spectant, liberius depromo, sperans Amp. Vestram 
et Sac. Cong.m mihi condonaturos si quid minus reverenter expresse- 
rim. Nihil enim antiquius habeo quam ut altissimam demissionem 
meam erga S.tam Sedem et Sacram Congregationem modis omnibus 
significem. Meque ipsum verbo et opere adprobem 

Amp.nis Vestrae Ill.mae ac Revmae 
Novae Aureliae, IMartii 10, 1826, 

Humillimum et obsequentissimum famulum 

+ LuD. GuiL. Du BouRG Epus Neo-Aur. 
Ulmo ac Revmo Dno 
Petro Caprano — Archpo 
Iconiensi S. C. de Prop. Fide a Secretis 


Most Reverend and Dear Archbishop : — 

I received lately from our Right Rev. Colleague of Bardstown a 
letter, of which I thought it my duty to forward the original to Your 
Grace, in order that you may understand in a better and shorter way 
the consensus of opinion which exists among the Bishops of the United 
States, regarding the appointments to the vacant or recently established 
Episcopal Sees. This letter is a reply to one of mine, in which I was 
setting forth to my brother-bishops my views on the subject : this my 
letter I enclose herewith in English, just as it was written. - 

Natchitoches (La) in the course of our 
Episcopal Visitation, October 4, 1825. 
Right Rev. Sirs and Very Dear Brethren, 

About one year ago, if my memory serves me well as to time, I received 
an invitation from Propaganda, which I must suppose to have been addressed 
also to every Bishop in the United States to give my opinion for the appoint- 
ment of a successor to Dr. Oheverus in the See of Boston; and just now a 
similar one has reached me, respecting that oif New York, vacated by the 
death of Dr. Connolly. From this it is natural to conclude that the Holy 
Congregation has come to a settled plan, not to proceed henceforth in the 
American nominations, but upon the joint suffrages of the American Bishops. 

The plan is, no doubt, a very correct one in every point of view. But 
its efficacy must necessarily depend upon the mode of carrying it into opera- 
tion. The present one appears to me extremely defective inasmuch as the 
unavoidable discrepancy of insulated opinions must necessarily throw Propa- 
ganda into the greatest perplexity as to the choice of one subject among the 
several that may be proposed, particularly as each of them may eventually 
chance to obtain but a single vote in his favor: the consequence of which 
must be an indefinite protraction in the appointments, 'the greatest calamity 
that can befall our infant Churches. 

Reunion of Bishops on those all important occasions, would, if prac- 
ticaible, be the best remedy to the impending evil, and for my part, cost wbat 
it might, neither fatigue nor expeuse would deter me from, attempting a long 
journey on an errand of such interest to Religion. I allow, however, that in 
many cases, either the advanced age, infirmities, or even the poverty of some 
of the Prelates might throw insuperable obstacles in the way of these de- 
sirable meetings. At least would I propose an understanding among the Bish- 
ops, by means of epistolary communications. The Archbishop, or in case of 
his absence, or death, the eldest Bishop might be commissioned by the Holy 
See, in the emergency of any vacancy, to confer by letters, with his colleagues, 
to suggest to each of them his own ideas, to receive their in return, and in 
case of such division of opinions as might still embarrass the nominations, to 
acquaint them with the number of votes given to each of them, in order that, 
upon a new consideration of the subject, the Bishops might, if they thought 
proper, modify their former opinions, and join in making a common return. 
Intricate as this process may appear, it seems to me by far the most expeditious 
and the best calculated to satisfy the minds of the Sacred Congregation, by 
affording them at once a full view of the general opinion of the Bishops on 
the respective merits of the candidates. 

2 This letter was sent from Natchitoches, La., October 4, 1825, that is, 
just about the time Bishop Du Bourg was writing on the same subject to Card, 
delk, Samalia, Pro-Prefect of Propaganda (Letter XL above). Here is the 
text of this communication to the Bishops of the United States, as it is found 
in the Archives of Propaganda, Scritture Referite net Congressi, Codice 8 — 
clearly the copy sent by Du Bourg to Archbishop P. Caprano : 


A far shorter cut assuredly would be that every Bishop should be provided 
with a Coajutor to succeed him on his demise. But this, I am sensible, may 
be liable to many dbjections, flowing chiefly from the dfAiculty of making pro- 
visions for two Bishops when a sufficient maintenance can hardly be found 
for one. I should conceive, however, that titular Bishops themselves being 
happily exempt in this country from every kind of costly representation. Co- 
adjutors might, with still greater reason, be contented for the support of their 
Episcopal dignity, with the emoluments deemed sufficient to support them 
as subordinate Pastors. Be it as it may I cannot help thinking that it is 
a strong idea entertained, I am told, in some of the ecclesiastical offices 
at Rome, that Coadjutors should not be granted to Bishops on foreign Mis- 
sions but in cases of extreme necessity; and though, at present, personally 
disinterested on the subject I would willingly propose to my Brethren to join in 
a simultaneous address to Propaganda pointing out the happy results that 
would arise from this measure in keeping up uniformity in the administration, 
insuring the continuation of establishments commenced, precluding intrigues 
and warding off the manifold dangers attending protracted vacancy. All that 
should be reasonably required would be that the Titular demanding such an 
auxiliary, sho:ild present satisfactory vouchers on the merits of the subject 
proposed by him, supported by the suffrages of two, at least, of the other 

Shall I not be accused of intrusion in thus presuming to take the initiative, 
in a matter, which as it regards all m.y colleagues, would, with more propriety 
have been canvassed by any of them than by me, the least of all? I must own 
that this reflection has long deterred me from any such communication. Yet, 
recollecting the word of St. Cyprian "Episcopatus est in solidum" which is 
particularly enforced in the application made to each of us by the Holy See, 
I have concluded that every member of the Episcopal body is strictly indebted 
to all of his Brethren for a candid disclosure of all his own views towards the 
consolidation and advancement of the common interest, and consequently that 
it were in me a breach of duty amounting to the most culpable indifference to 
Religion to withdraw from my colleagues those lights which I may, though, 
perhaps, erroneously deem useful for our common guidance. I fondly hope 
therefore to be pardoned, not only for the foregoing hints, but also for the 
communication of my answer to Propaganda, with respect to the new appoint- 
ment, the whole of which I mean to submit to the superior judgment of my 
brethren and Most Revered Masters, with an entire deference to, and a cordial 
acquiescence in their decisions. 

At the time of the venerated Patriarch of the American Church, Archbishop 
Carroll was soliciting the division ot his then immense Diocese, he was, as 
he himself repeatedly told me particularly desirous to see Boston and New York 
united under one Bishop and could not help manifesting some vexation that 
the contrary opinion had prevailed at Rome. His chief reasons were, the 
propinquity of those two cities, which made it easy to travel from one to the 
other in a couple of days — and the comparatively small number of Catholic 
Congregations in both territories, particularly in that of New England ; which 
would render the situation of a Bishop in Boston hardly dissimilar from that 
of a simple parish-priest : a situation truly discouraging for a prelate of an 
active mind, and little honorable to Episcopacy. I was forcibly struck at 
these observations, which, since have turned to be real forebodings. For who 
doubts now, but to the circumstance of the insignificancy of the See of Boston 
is ciefly due the irretrievable loss for America of its late Incumbent? In 
consequence therefore of these reflections, when Propaganda did me the honor 
of consulting mo on the nomination to the Church vacated by the translation 
of Dr. Cheverus I clearly expressed my opinion of the propriety of reuniting 
Boston and New York under one spiritual head ; and in answer to the present 
call I renew my answer to the same effect. 

Now as to the designation of subjects fit to fill up that most important 
station and particularly (to use the expression of Propaganda) to raise the 
Church of New York from the state of depression and distraction into which 
it is fallen, I have returned four names, viz.: 


1. The Rev. Ben. Fenwick 

2. The Rev. Demetrius de Galitzin 

3. The Rev. N. McGuire, of Pittsburg 

4. The Rev. N. Power, of New York, 

giving it as my decided opinion, that however eminent the merits of the three 
latter may be, which I hold in the highest estimation, the first should un- 
hesitatingly be preferred: ist, as a Native American, a circumstance^ which, in 
the present state of the church at New York distracted as it is by foreign 
parties, highly qualifies the Rev. Ren. Fenwick as a mediator of peace; 2ndly, 
as having already been most successfully employed in stations of high re- 
sponsibility, particularly in New York and Charleston; in both which he es- 
tablished a character of consummate prudence, indefatigable industry and 
eminent talents and whence he carried with him the respect and regrets of all 
classes of inhabitants without any difference of Religions or of nations. 
With great respect and brotherly aittachment, I remain, 
Right Reverend and very dear Brethren, 
Your most humble servant, 

L. Wm., Bishop of New Orleans. 

I much regret, for the sake of Religion, that in the case of Father 
Michael Portier, the customary inquiries were omitted, especially from 
such prelates as know him, and under whose jurisdiction he has lived 
during the last eight years. Whatever others might state ahout him 
can have bearing only on the years of his youth. For scarcely was he 
nineteen years of age, when he came from Lyons under my direction ; 
he was then conspicuous among his fellow-students by his conduct and 
talents, but yet too young for anybody being able to forecast what he 
was to be later on. From that time on, he has never left my Diocese ; 
hence no American Bishop, outside of myself and my Coadjutor, had 
ever any chance to know him. No sooner did the first rumor of his 
appointment reach here, than most of his friends and fellow-priests 
could not help laughing heartily over it; but what saddened me yet 
much more, laymen and women, even among those well-disposed, 
manifested their wonderment, that a young man, whom nothing singles 
out and recommends particularly among his fellows, and who has no 
experience, should be raised to such a high and difficult position. Some 
did accuse me of 'this decision, whom I could scarcely convince that I 
had absolutely nothing to do with it, and had never been consulted 
about it. When good and religious people are feeling that way, what 
can you expect of the men of loose morals and of no religion, so 
numerous in this part of the country? 

I would not have Your Grace conceive the least suspicion that I 
am sorry of the dismemberment of Florida from my Diocese, or of 
the loss of Father M. Portier. That Florida should be taken away 
from me, I have long petitioned; and I have never reaped anything 
but trouble from that wide expanse of territory. As to Father Portier, 
on account of his levity of mind and his affectation of independence, I 
wish he would go somewhere else, where under the bridle of obedience 
that levity of his might be checked, and his natural talents might grow 
to maturity for the greater utility of the Church. But there is no use 
now of me wishing either of these things, as, in so far as I am person- 
ally concerned, I have no other longing and no other thought but for my 


freedom ; however, even though the bands uniting me to this Church 
are to be severed, yet I shall never cease to wish it good, and to pro- 
mote its increase by all means in my power. This is why I most freely 
set forth my opinion about what concerns the honor of Religion, hop- 
ing that Your Grace and the S. Congregation will pardon any expres- 
sions of mine which might appear somewhat lacking in reserve, for I 
have nothing more at heart than to manifest by all possible means my 
most profound respect to the Holy See and the S. Congregation, and 
to prove myself by word and deed, 

Your Grace's 

Most humble and obedient Servant, 

•h Louis Wm. Du Bourg, Bp. of New Orl. 
New Orleans, March 10, 1826. 

To the Most Rev. Peter Caprano, 

Archbishop of Iconium, 
Secretary of the S. Cong, of Propaganda. 



Secretary of Propaganda} 

Illme ac Domine 

Post 30 dierum felicissimam navigationem, ecce ad oras Galliae 
laetus appellor, brevi Romam iter arrepturus. Peragrata tota Foed- 
erata America usque ad Novum Eboracum, ubi prima Junii navem 
conscendi, occasionem nactus sum singulas ferme lustrandi Dioceses, 
et propriis oculis earum necessitates explorandi. Neo-Eboracum prae- 
cipuam clamat Sanctae Sedis sollicitudinem, ut quamprimum de idoneo 
Pastore ipsi provideatur. In varias quippe factiones discerpta videtur 
viduata ilia Ecclesia, quae tamen, ut puto, facile coalescerent, si, neg- 
lectiis caeteris ad Episcopatum praetendentibus, ad ipsius regimen as- 
sumeretur A. Kohlmann, So. Jesu, nunc in Collegio Romano 
degens, qui cum Neo-Eboraci per plurimos annos olim pastorale munus 
dignissime gesserit, omnibus etiam nunc ita receptus est, ut prhno loco 
a plerisque, secundo a caeteris reclametur. Vereor tamen ne nimis 
sero nuncius iste Romam adveniat. — Vereor etiam ne ipse contentio- 
num et aemulattonum quae in illo clero misere praevalent, certior fac- 
tus, onus Episcopale mordicus rejiciat, quod profecto ipsi vix toleran- 
dum fieret, nisi ex Auiericanis sacerdotibus, qui in dicto Romano 
Collegio plures jam annos extiterunt, duo vel tres in partem sollici- 
tudinis ipsi consociarentur. Hoc unco scilicet modo sperari potest 
subordinationis et Ecclesiasticae unionis restauratio. 

De his, plurimisque aliis ad bonum Ecclesiae Americanae spectan- 
tibus, praesens opinionem, non dico meant, sed ferme omnium qui ejus 

^ Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scritture Referite net Congressi, Cod. 
8, America Centrale, Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama, Dal 1823 tto il 1826. 


statum intime noverunt, eo liberius depromam, quod jam in suspici- 
onem venire nequeam me ullo partium affectu moveri, siquidem firmius 
adhaereo proposito sedem meam abdicandi, speroque me facile demon- 
straturum, non solum pacis mea, sed praesertim Religionis plurimum 
interresse, ut saepius oblata mea resignatio benigne tandem accepte- 
tur. In ea certe persuasione mecum consentiunt quotquot ex intimis 
familiaribus prudenter consulere potui, qui mihi ad unum auctores 
fuere ut loco meo quamprimum cederem, periculum in mora futurum 
esse opinantes. 

Si nondum actum est de nominatione Rev.di Portier ad 
Vicariatum Apost.cum Floridarum et Alabamae, cujus Breve felici 
hora Romam retromisit. sperans tamen (prout mihi certius constat) 
gratam sibi vim esse inferendam, muneris mei esse duco Amplitudini 
Vestrae significare, electionem istam tantum administrationis in tota 
America movisse, ut mihi eam, omnes ad quos ejus pervenit notitia, 
graviter exprobraverint, putantes scilicet me praecipuam in ea partem 
habuisse, vixque fidem mihi adhibuerint, eam me inconsulto factam, 

Nihil me ultra ab itinere, Romam versus, prosequendo demorabi- 
tur, praeter valetudinis curam, quae post tam longam terra marique 
peregrinalionem, aliquot saltem dierum quietem et refrigerationem 
exposcit ; ardenter enim cupio ad Beatissimi Patris pedes advolare, 
Amplitudique Vestrae facie ad faciem, illas existimationis et obsequii 
mei significationes edere, quas nunc literis venerabundus offero Illmae ac Revmae 
Havre, Julii 3, 1826 

Humillimus et famulus 

"I* LuL. GuiL. Epus Novae 
Illmo ac Revmo Petro Caprano Arch.o Icon.i 
S. C. de Propaganda Fide a Secretis ; Romam. 

Most Rev. Archbishop : — 

After a most happy voyage of thirty days, I have just joyfully 
landed in France and shall start shortly for Rome. As I travelled all 
the United States as far as New York, whence I sailed on June 1st, I 
had a good opportunity of seeing nearly all the Dioceses of that coun- 
try and to see their needs with my own eyes. New York more than 
any other place should be the object of the solicitude of the Holy See, 
and a suitable Pastor should be given it without delay. Several fac- 
tions indeed seem to tear asunder that Church bereft of its Bishop ; 
yet all these factions, I think, would unite easily, if before all other can- 
didates Father Kohlmann, S.J.^ now residing in the Roman College, 

- That Bishop Du Bourg proposes now Father Kohlman for New York, 
after so warmily recommending, the year before, the appointment of Father 
Benedict Fenwick, is not to be ascribed to fickleness, but to the fact that, early 
in 1825, Rome, on the recommendation of Bishops Conwell. England, Flaget 
and E. D. Fenwick, had appointed B. Fenwick to the See of Boston. He was 
consecrated Nov. i, 1825 in the cathedral of Baltimore. 


was appointed ; as he most worthily discharged the pastoral office in 
that city for a number of years, he even now enjoys such a repute 
that he is the first choice of the greater number, and the second of the 
others. However, I am afraid that this intelligence may reach Rome 
too late. I am afraid also that he, being aware of the dissentions and 
misunderstandings prevailing among the clergy of that Diocese, may 
absolutely refuse the burden, which indeed could be rendered bearable 
to him only if, among the American priests residing in the Roman Col- 
lege, for a' certain number of years, two or three be given him to share 
his solicitude. This is the only means capable of restoring there sub- 
ordination and Ecclesiastical unity. 

On this subject, and others regarding the welfare of the Church 
in America, when I am there I will give I do not say «;j\' opinion, but 
the opinion of those who know the situation, all the more freely that 
I cannot be now open to the suspicion of being moved by any interest, 
as I am more than ever resolved to resign, and I trust I can easily 
demonstrate that not only the peace of my soul, but above all the inter- 
est of religion, demand that my resignation so often tendered, be at 
last accepted. This persuasion is shared by all those of my friends 
whom prudence permitted me to consult, who all agreed that I should 
withdraw as soon as possible, and thought any delay to be detrimental. 
If so far no action has been taken on the subject of the appoint- 
ment of the Rev. i\Iichael Portier to the Vicariate Apostolic of Florida 
and Alabama,^ the Brief for which he sent back to Rome in a moment 
of happy inspiration, hoping, however (as I am perfectly sure), that 
he may be forced to accept, I deem it my duty to declare to Your 
Grace that this election has excited such a wonderment throughout 
America, that all who know of it expressed to me their undisguised 
dissatisfaction, as they thought that 1 was mainly responsible for it, 
and would hardly believe me when I assured them everything had been 
done without consulting me. 

Nothing will detain me from pursuing now my Romeward jour- 
ney, except the care of my health, which, after such a long trip by land 
and sea, demands at least a few days of rest and refreshing; I ear- 
nestly long to fly to the feet of His Holiness, and to pay to Your Grace 
by word of mouth the tribute of my consideration and respect which 
I reverently now offer in writing. 
Your Grace's 

Most humble and obedient Servant, 

+ Louis Wm., Bp. of New Orl. 
Havre, July 3, 1826. 

To the Most Rev. Peter Caprano, Archbishop of Iconium, 
Secretary of the S. Congr. of Propaganda, Rome. 

3 Action had been taken in Rome on the subject some time since; and whilst 
Bishop Du Bourg was on the ocean, a new brief had arrived in New Orleans, 
commanding him in virtute s, ohedientiac to accept the episcopal office and the 
charge of the Vicariate Apostolic of Alabama. He communicated this docu- 
ment, on June 19 to Bishop Rosati, then in New Orleans. 




Secretary of Propaganda} ac Rme Domine, 

A Franco Niel, Roma nuper Parisios reduce, cum summa 
laetitia accepi SSmi D.i Nostri gratia dirupta tandem esse vincula, 
quae me Neo-Aurelianensi Ecclesiae mancipabant, mihique jam liberum 
esse propriae sanctificationi unice vacare. Burdigalam ad hunc finem, 
festinus me recipio, ubi paratum me semper inveniet V.a ad 
omnia grati animi et reverentiae obsequia. Imo etsi valetudine fractus, 
et quietis potissimum indigeo, Romanam peregrinationem laetus su- 
scipiam, si videatur y\mericanae Ecclesiae proficuam ibi 
fore operam meam. Multa certe sunt de quibus oretenus Amp.m V.m 
alloqui proposueram, quae vix litteris possint explicari, quibus forsan 
plurimum juvari posset Religionis in ilia regione conditio, et promo- 
veri prosperitas. Etsi etenim lugenda necessitate coactus, ab ilia me 
separari postulaverim, nunquam tamen desinam illius utilitatis, pro 
posse, adlaborare. 

Sanctissimo Domino Nositro, pro liberationis meae beneficia, im- 
pensissimas grates, per Amplitudinem Vestram relatas velim, Meque 
sibi omni devotionis et venerationis secum devinctum dignetur agnos- 
cere et obs.mum famul. 

+ LuD. GuiL. alia^ Ep. Neo-Aurel. 
Rhotomagi, Julii ll.a 1826. 
Em.o ac Rev. mo Domino Petro Caprano 
Arch.o Icon. si S. C. de prop. Fide a Secretis, 


Most Reverend Archbishop: — 

The Rev. Francis Niel who came back recently to Paris from 
Rome, communicated to me the most welcome news^ that His Holi- 
ness has at length in his kindness severed the bonds which united me 
with the Church of New Orleans, and that I may now attend only to 
my own sanctification. For this purpose I hasten to go to Bordeaux, 
where Your Grace will always find me ready to offer you the marks 
of my gratitude and respect. Nay even, though I am somewhat broken 

1 Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scritture Referite net Congressi, Cod. 
8, America Centrale, Dal Canada all' htmo di Panama, Dal 1823 a tto il 1826. 

2 A letter of Father F. Niel to Msgr. Soglia, in Rome, dated Paris, July 18, 
and contained in the same volume of the Scritture Referite says in part: "You 
undoubtedly have heard of Bishop Du Bourg's arrival in France. As soon 
as I heard he had reached this country, I wrote to him to announce \o him that 
the Pope had accepted his resignation ; he has answered my letter and seems 
to be satisfied." 


in health and need rest above everything else, I will undertake the 
journey to Rome, if Your Grace should think my presence there may 
be of use for the interest of the Church in America. There are- indeed 
many things which I had proposed to mention to Your Grace in con- 
versation, and could hardly be explained by letter, and whereby the 
condition of Religion in that country might be greatly helped and its 
prosperity promoted. For although a sad necessity compelled me to 
ask to be separated from it, still I shall never cease to work in its be- 
half to the limit of my ability. 

Please return in my name most earnest thanks to the Holy Fa- 
ther for the benefit of my freedom, and deign consider me linked to 
Your Grace by every sentiment of devotedness and veneration 
Your most humble and obedient servant 

+ Louis Wm., formerly Bp. of New Orl. 
Rouen, July 11, 1826. 

To the Most Rev. Peter Caprano, Archbishop of Iconium, 
Secretary of the S. Congr. of Propaganda. 


to Paris} 


Mr. I'abbe Hercule Brassac eut la gen^rosit^ et le d^vouement en 
1817 de quitter sa respectable famille en France, pour me suivre aux 
missions de la Louisiane. II y requt de moi les SS. Ordres suh titiilo 
Missionis. Son venerable P^re ayant successivement perdu son Epouse 
et 10 de ses Enfans, m'ecrivit il y a un an pour me prier de lui ac- 
corder la consolation d'embrasser encore une fois I'unique fils qui 
lui restoit. II ^toit difficile de refuser une pareille faveur a un Pere 
plus que septuagenaire, si cruellement ^prouv^ dans ses plus tendres 
affections. L'abb(5 Brasisac est aujourd"hui en France en conge dis- 
pose a repartir pour la Louisiane si telle est la volont^ de Dieu, 
manifest(^e par ses Sup^rieurs. Je ne le suis plus, Eminence — sans 
cela Je ne tiendrois pas aux pri^res du v^n^rable viellard,, qui me 
redemande I'unique appui de ses dernieres annees. Je m'adresse avec 
confiance a V. Em. pour le prier de vouloir bien s'int^resser a cette 
aflfaire supres de S. Em. le Cardl. Prefet de la Propagande de qui elle 
depend principalement. 

Je suis avec un profond respect 
De Ve. Eminence 
Paris le 15 Novre, 1826. 

Le tr^s humble et tres ob. serviteur 

•^ L. GuiL, Ev. de Montauban 
S. Emce. Le Cardinal Nonce 
Apostolique a la Cour de France. 

Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scrttture Referitc nei Congressi, Cod. 
\erica Centrale, Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama, Dal 1823 a tto il 1826. 



Your Eminence : 

The Rev. Hercules Brassac^ had, in 1817, the generosity and 
devotedness to leave his respectable family in France, in order to fol- 
low me to the Louisiana missions. There I conferred upon him the 
Sacred Orders sub titulo Missionis. As his venerable Father lost suc- 
cessively his wife and ten of his children, he wrote to me a year ago 
to request me to grant him the consolation of embracing once more 
the only son left him. I could not deny such a favor to a father more 
than three score and ten years of age, cruelly tried in his most tender 
affections. Father Brassac is now in France on a leave of absence, 
ready to go back to Louisiana if such is the will of God, manifested 
by his Superiors. Had I still jurisdiction over him, Your Eminence, 
I could not resist the prayers of the venerable old man, who is beseech- 
ing that the only prop of his declining years be left to him. Hence I 
beg confidently Your Eminence to interpose in his behalf with His 
Eminence the Prefect of Propaganda, whom this affair principally 

I am with the deepest respect 
Your Eminence's 

Most humble and obedient servant 

<¥ L. Wm., Bp. of Montauban. 
Paris, November 15, 1826. 

To His Eeminence the Cardinal Nuntio 
to the Court of France. 



Mgr. Rosati, mon successeur a la Louisiane, rendant justice a me 
sentiments pour une Eglise qui fut et sera toujours le premier objet 
de ma sollicitude, et supposant que mon opinion touchant ses inter^ts 
pent etre de quelque poids dans le jugement de la S. Congregation de 
la Propagande, me presse d'^crire a V. Emce., pour appuyer de mon 
suffrage les demandes qu'il vient tout r^cemment de lui adresser. Je 
desire sinc^rement que ce digne Prelat ne se soit pas plus qu'il en soit 
tromp6 dans I'une que dans I'autre de ses deux suppositions. Quoi 
qu'il en soit je mettrai toujours le plus vif empressement a seconder 
ses vues ; heureux si Je puis encore fournir au moins quelques lumieres 
qui tournent a I'avantage de cette int^ressante Mission. 

2 On the Rev. Hercules Brassac, see Archbishop S. G. Messmer's article 
The Reverend Hercules Brassac, in The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. Ill, 
No. 4, pp. 392-416; and Brassac's Correspondence tvith the American Bishops, 
(1818-1861), pp. 448-470, in the same issue of the above-mentioned periodical. 

^ Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scritture Referite net Congressi, Cod. 
9, America Centrale, Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama, Dal 1827 tto il 1828. 


Je vols avec douleur, Eminence, que I'extr^me modestie de Mgr, 
Rosati lui inspire une aversion insurmountable pour le Siege de la 
Nouvelle Orleans. II est persuad«5 qu'il faut a ce poste des talens plus 
distingu^s que les siens. Je ne suis pas de son avis, et j'ai la convic- 
tion que nul autre Eveque n'y ferait plus de bien que lui. Ce n'est 
pas tant I'eloquence, qu'une science solide, une profonde sagesse et une 
vertu a I'abri de toute atteinte, que demande cette importante situa- 
tion. La premiere de ces qualites ne ferait peut-etre que lui attirer 
des Censeurs ; les autres lui ont deja conquis I'af fection et le respect 

Je sens non moins tout ce qui est du de d6f^rence a une repu- 
gnance aussi caracteris^e, dans un Pr^lat aussi vertueux. Son tem- 
perament d'ailleurs de parait pas fait pour les ardeurs qui ddvorent ce 
climat pendant la moiti^ de I'annee, et sa conservation est trop pre- 
cieuse a la Religion pour qu'on doive I'exposer a un si grand danger. 

II n'y a selon moi qu'un moyen de concilier tons les int^rets, c'est 
de laisser k Mgr. Rosati pour un temps indetermin^ I'administration 
des deux divisions de ce grand Diocese, et de lui donner un Coadjuteur 
pour I'assister ou le supplier dans la basse Louisiane, Toutes mes 
lettres precddentes a la S. Congregation ont exprime ce voeu, et je 
me r^jouis que lui-meme il le partage. C'est qu'en effet, malgr^ sa 
modesti, il lui etoit difficile de se dissimuler que nul autre que lui ne 
pourra de longtemps reunir les coeurs et fixer la soumission d'un clerg^ 
het^rog^ne toujours pret a se diviser ou a s'^manciper; et la qualite 
de Sup<^rieur de la Congregation de la Mission lui donne pour cela 
des avantages qui ne peuvent appartenir qu'a lui. 

II propose pour Coadjuteur Mr. L6on de Neckere, pretre de sa 
Congregation, flamand d'origine, qui a d^ja pass^ pres de dix ans dans 
la Louisiane, homme rare pour les connoissances, les vertus, et sur- 
tout pour le don d'une eloquence distinguee, soit en anglais, soit en 
frangais. Deux choses cependant pourroient militer contre lui, sa 
jeunesse et sa sante. II a tout au plus atteint sa 28e. annee — mais son 
physique, sa gravity et sa sagesse sont de 40 ans. — Sa sante fa- 
tiguee par I'application et le travail s^dentaire a surtout beaucoup souf- 
fert, du climat f roid et sec de la haute Louisiane ; mais elle se trouve 
bien de la chaleur humide de la Nouvelle Orleans : il est a cet egard 
pr^cisement I'eavers de Mgr. Rosati. Ainsi, puisque surtout il n'est 
question que de lui conferer une autorite d^pendante, il paroitroit que 
ce choix serait desirable. Plusieurs raisons accessoires pourraient en 
confirmer la sagesse. — Mr. de Neckere est universellement respecte 
de ses Confreres et du peuple — et comme Flamand, il est probable 
qu'il attirerait bientot a la Mission un certain nombre de ses com- 
patriotes, qui de toutes les nations sont ceux qui en general y reus- 
sissent le mieux. 

Je crains seulement qu'on ne puisse, par les seuls moyens de per- 
suasion, le determiner a accepter le pesant fardeau de I'Episcopat, 
doublement pesant dans un pays tel que la Louisiane. Ill ne faudra 
probablement rien moins pour I'y resoudre qu'un ordre peremptoire de 
Sa Saintete. 


Si la Sac. Congregation adopte ces vues, EUe peut m'adresser 
ses d^peches, que je me ferai un honneur de transmettre, d'une rnani^- 
re stire, soit a Mgr. Rosati a la Louisiane, soit a Mr. de Necker^, qui 
est aujourd'hui en conge dans sa famille en Belgique. 
Je suis avec un profond respect, 
De Votre Eminence, 
Montauban ler Mai, 1827. 

Le tres humble et tr^s obeissant serviteur, 

4* L. GuiL. Du BouRG Eveque de Montauban. 


Your Eminence, 

Bishop Rosati, my successor in Louisiana, doing justice to my 
sentiments towards a Church which was and shall ever be the first 
object of my solicitude, and supposing that my opinion touching its 
interests may have some weight upon the decisions of the S. Congre- 
gation of Propaganda, begs me insistently to write to Your Eminence 
to suport the petition which he directed recently to the same Congrega- 
tion.^ I sincerely desire that this worthy Prelate may not be mistaken 
in either supposition. However this may be, I will always manifest 
the greatest eagerness when it is a qustion of fostering his views, happy 
if thereby I am still able to shed at least some light which may turn 
to the advantage of that interesting Mission ! 

I regret to see, Your Eminence, that the extreme modesty of Bish- 
op Rosati inspires him with an unsurmountable aversion for the See 
of New Orleans. He is convinced that the position requires talents 
more distinguished than his. I do not share his opinion, and am con- 
vinced that no other Bishop may do there more good than he. It is 
not so much eloquence, as solid knowledge, profound wisdom, and a 
virtue above every suspicion, which are demanded in that important 
office. The first of these qualities would perhaps only invite censure; 
the others have already won for him the affection and respect of all. 

I realize none the less whatever deference is due to so marked a 
repugnance in a Prelate of such sterling virtue. His constitution, more- 
over, does not seem suited for the scorching heat prevailing in that 
climate during half of the year ; and his preservation is too precious to 
Religion to permit to expose him to so great a danger. 

There is only, that I can see, one means to reconcile all the inter- 
ests at stake, namely to leave to Bp. Rosati for an unlimited length 
of time the administration of both parts of that great Diocese, and to 
give him a Coadjutor to assist him or supply his place in Lower 

2 The allusion is, as the rest of the letter shows, to the reluctance of 
Bishop Rosati for accepting the See of New Orleans. The story is told at 
length in an Article of Rev C. L. Souvay, C. M., entitled, Rosati's Elevation 
to the See of St. Louis (1827), published in Vol. Ill, No. 2 (July, 1917) of 
The Catholic Historical Revieiv, pp. 165-186. 


Louisiana. All my previous letters to the S. Congregation expressed 
this wish, and I am glad that he himself is saying the same. For in- 
deed, with all his modesty, he could scarcely be blind to the fact that 
no other man will be able for a long time to unite the hearts and assure 
the submission of a clergy made up of all kinds of men, ever ready to 
be divided or to take liberties ; and his office of Superior of the Con- 
gregation of the Mission gives him advantages which no other can have. 

He proposes as Coadjutor, Father Leo De Neckere, a priest of 
his Congregation, native of Flanders, who has already spent well-nigh 
ten years in Louisiana, and is exceptionally remarkable by his knowl- 
edge, his virtues, and, above all, the gift of a most distinguished elo- 
quence both in English and in French. Two objections, however, might 
be raised against him. his youth and his health. He is scarcely twenty- 
six years of age,^ but his outward appearance, his gravity and his wis- 
dom are of a man of forty. His health undermined by application and 
sedentary work suffered very much from the cold and dry climate of 
Upper Louisiana; but it benefits by the damp heat of New Orleans; 
from this point of view, he is just the reverse of Bp. Rosati. So, as 
there is, after all, question of conferring upon him only a dependent au- 
thority, this choice seems well-advised. Several secondary reasons 
might confirm the wisdom of it. Father De Neckere is universally 
respected by his brother-priests and the people, and as he is Flemish, 
it might probably attract soon to the Mission a certain number of his 
fellow-countrymen, who, of all nationalities, are those who are suc- 
ceeding best. 

I am afraid only that persuasive means may not be able to de- 
termine him to accept the weighty burden of the Episcopate, which is 
doubly heavy in a country like Louisiana. Probably nothing short of 
a peremptory command of His Holiness will be able to prevail upon 

Should the S. Congregation adopt these views, it may direct to 
me its despatches, which I will consider an honor to forward by sure 
means, either to Bp. Rosati in Louisiana, or to Father De Neckere, who 
is now on a leave with his family in Belgium. 

I am with the deepest respect, 

Your Eminence's most humble and obedient servant, 

•h L. Wm. Du Bourg, Bishop of Montauban. 
Montauban, May 1, 1827. 

3 Father Leo De Neckere was born at Wevelghem, then in the Diocese of 
Ghent, Belgium, on June 5, i8oo. He was, therefore, almost twenty-seven years 
of age at the time of the writing of this letter. Bishop Du Bourg's error, 
however, is slight and immaterial: Father De Neckere had not reached the 
Episcopal age. 


Prefect of Propaganda^ 

Eine ac Rev. me Domine, 

Literis datis 29 a Augui. proxime elapsi, petit a me Ema. Vestra 
quid sentiam de postulatione R. P. D. Josephi Rosati mei in Louisiana 
successoris, circa reductionem festorum et jejuniorum cujos postula- 
tionis transcriptum in adjuncto folio habetur. 

Respondeo, nihil a me de eo sttutum in Synodo Dioecesana a me 
coacta, ut putat Rev. Episcopus, sed solummodo in ea publicatum Ora- 
culum SS. mi D. 1 Nostri Pii Papae VII propria manu firmatum 
(quod in archiviis Episcopatus Neo Aurelianensis, sub discessionem 
meam, reliqui), quo Summus Pontifex annuit 1° ut consuetudini jam 
invectae in Baltimorensem Metropolim circa reductionem festorum et 
vigiliarum, in mea Diocesi ahaereretur. 2° ut nihil immutaretur in alia 
consuetudine quae in Louisiana ab Hispanis inducta fuerat, diebus 
sabbati per annum carnibus vesct. 

In dicta autem synodo, investigatum fuit qui essent dies sive fes- 
torum sive jejuniorum, vel antiquitus in Louisiana, vel nova con- 
cessione in Baltimorensi servati, collatisque testimoniis redactus est 
eorum catalogue ad numerum in epistola R. P. D. Rosati expressum. 

Quod ad opportunitatem proragandae et confirmandae in posterum 
dictae indulgentiae attinet, Haec mihi comprobata videtur ex optimis 
rationibus a successore meo adductis. 

Errat tamen de facto ubi dicit me a Summo Pontifice confirmatio- 
nem hujusmodi consuetudinum petiisse quam nescit utrum acceperim, 
qua loquendi forma satis prodit, se vel ignorare penitus, vel oblitum 
fuisse, quomodo dictam confirmationem obtinueram, nempe sub disces- 
sionem meam a Roma, mense Januario 1816, Summum Pontificem adii 
cum libello precum, inter quas praedicta postulatio adnumerabatur, 
cui pro gratis, ad jiidichmt Episcopi subscripsit Sanctissismus. Auto- 
graphum autem hujus libeHi, Novas Aureliae, ut dixi, mox inde pro- 
fecturus, in Archivio Episcopali reliqui. Nil mirum proinde si nihil 
de ea petitione in S. Congregationis tabula inveniri potuerit. 

Summa cum Reverentia, plenaque in banc Sacram Congregationem 
devotione, haberi volo 

Eminentiae Vestrae 
Montis Albani, die 7 bris 18 a 1829. 

Humill. et obsequentise. famulus, 

•I" LuD. GuiL. Epus Mtis Alb. 
Emo et Revmo D. Cardli. Cappellari 
S. Congr. p. F. Praefecto. 

^ Original in Archives of Propaganda, Scritture Referite net Congr essi, Cod. 
10, America CentraJe^ Dal Canada all' Istmo di Panama, Dal 1829 a tto il 18.32. 


Your Eminence: 

In your letter dater August 29, Your Eminence asks my opinion 
on the petition of the Right Rev. Joseph Rosati, my successor in 
Louisiana, concerning a reduction of the feasts and fasts, and a copy 
of said petition was enclosed in the letter. 

My answer is that, in the Diocesan Synod which I called, I regu- 
lated nothing contrary to the impression of the Right Rev. Bishop ; all 
that was done was to publish in that Synod the pronouncement signed 
by our Holy Father Pius VI Fs own hand (which, at my departure, I 
left in the Episcopal Archives of New Orleans), whereby the Sovereign 
Pontiff granted: 1° that we should follow in my Diocese the custom 
already introduced in that of Baltimore in regard to the reduction of 
the feasts and vigils ; 2° that nothing should be changed in another 
custom introduced into Louisiana by the Spaniards, to eat meat on 
Saturdays during the year. 

In the same Synod investigations were made concerning the feast 
or fast days observed both from old times in Louisiana or by virtue 
of the concession made to Baltimore, and after comparing the testi- 
monies, a catalogue of these days was made including the number men- 
tioned in the letter of Bp. Rosti. 

With regard to the opportunity of continuing and confirming for 
the future this grant, I would recommend it on the reasons adduced 
by my successor. 

He is mistaken, however, when he says that I asked from the 
Sovereign Pontiff the confirmation of this custom, but does avi know 
whether I obtained it. This expression of his indicates clearly that 
he is totally ignorant, or forgetful of the way I had obtained that 
confirmation, namely when, on leaving Rome, in January, 1816, I 
went to the Sovereign Pontiff with a list of petitions, among which 
was the one in question ; at the bottom of this document the Holy 
Father wrote : pro gratia, ad judicium Episcopi. The original of this 
list of petitions I left in New Orleans, as I said, in the Episcopal Ar- 
chives, at the time of my departure. No wonder, therefore, that nothing 
about it should be found in the Records of the S. Congregation. 

With the utmost respect, and complete devotedness to the S. 
Congregation, I beg you to believe me. 

Your Eminences' most humble and obedient servant, 

Hh Louis Wm., Bp. of Montauban. 
Montauban, September 18, 1829. 
To His Eminence Card. Cappellari, 
Prefect of the S. Congregation of Propaganda. 




Issued Qu arterly 





Volume III OCTOBER 1921 Number 4 


209 WAf.NuT Strekt, St. I^ouis, Mo. 



Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis 226 

The Dawn of Missouri's History 

Archbishop J. J. Glcnnon 227 

Some High Lights In Missouri's History 

Reif. G. J. GarragJuin, SJ. 232 

Rummaging Through Old Parish Records 

Rev. C. L. Souvay, CM. 242 

Notes 295 

Documents from Our Archives 311 

Catholic Historical Society of St. Louis 

Established February 7th, 191 7 

President — Most Rev. John J. Glennon, D. D. 
First Vice-President — Rt. Rev. Mgr. J. A. Connolly, V. G. 
Second Vice-President and Treasurer — Edward Brown 
Third Vice-President — Louise M. Garesche 
Secretary — Rev. Edward H. Amsinger 

and Archivists 





Charles L. Souvay, C. M., D. D. 
Gn.p.ERT J. Garraghan, S. J. 

Rt. Rev. Mgr. J. A. Connolly, V. G., President 
Rt. Rev. Mgr. J. J. Tannrath, Chancellor 
Rev. Charles L. Souvay, C. M., D. D. 
Rev, F. G. Holweck 
Rev. Martin L. Brennan, Sc D. 
Rev. John Rothensteiner 
Rev. Edward H. Amsinger 
[ Edward Brown 

on Library 
and Publications 

f Rev. Charles L. Souvay, C. M., D. D. 

I Rev. F. G. Holweck 

^ Rev. Gilbert J. Garraghan, S. J. 

j Rev. John Rothensteiner 

[ Edward Brown 


General Correspondence should be addressed to Rev. Edward H. Amsinger. 
Secretary, 744 S. Third St., St. Louis, Mo. 

Exchange publications and matter submitted for publication in the St. Louis 
Catholic Historical Review should be sent to the Editor-in-chief, Rev. Charles 
L. Souvay, CM., DD.. Kenrick Seminary, Webster Groves, Mo. 

Remittances should be made to Edward Brown, Treasurer, 511 Locust St., 
St. Louis, Mo. 



Probably the first white man to great Missouri land was the Spanish 
De Soto. Long before Missouri pleaded for statehood, long before the 
colonies proclaimed their independence, long before the colonies were 
formed — before even the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, — there 
came from the Floridas the Spanish conquistador De Soto, westward 
bent, as were so many of his compatriots, lured by the glory of con- 
quest and the love of gold. 

It was in the year 1540 that in his westward march over the sa- 
vannahs of the South, De Soto and his soldier comrades reached the 
Father of Waters, which in its southern course may claim him as its 
discoverer, and was destined a year or so later to furnish him a grave 

He crossed the great river and reached its western shores some- 
where in what is today the state of Arkansas, and then with his six 
or seven hundred followers marched northwards. It is difficult today 
to retrace his journey, for although the places he sojourned at and 
the Indian tribes he met are described in detail by the chroniclers, yet 
the names are strange, and the descriptions vague and fantastic; so 
that over all is a shadowy uncertainty, which, since there were none 
to follow in his footsteps, makes the task of retracement impossible 
today. It is quite certain that his journey was northwards and that 
he came a considerable distance into Southeast Missouri. 

Somewhere west of New Madrid, probably in the basin of the 
St. Francis River, De Soto rested after a three days' march. He had 
made friends with a powerful tribe of Indians that dwelt there. They 
were called by the Spaniards "Caquins" and were probably the same 
as the Kaskaskias, so well known in later history. 

Now, after some parley, with exchange of greetings and pres- 
ents, the Cacique of the tribe arose, saluted De Soto and addressed 
him: "Senor, you are superior to us in prowess, you surpass us in 
arms. These you behold around you are the warriors of my nation. 
Since your God must be more powerful than ours, we, the chieftains 
and warriors of the nation, humbly supplicate you to pray to your 
God for us." Now, De Soto, protesting his own sinfulness, ordered 
his men to go to the forest near by, cut down the tallest tree they 
could find and fashion from it a cross. Now the chronicler tells us 

1. Discourse of tlie Most Reverend Archbishop of St. Louis at the solemn Mass 
celebrated at the Old Cathedral on Sunday, October 9, 1921, for the Centennial celebra- 
tion of Missouri's statehood. 



that so large was the tree that it took a hundred men to move it. 
They carried it to the neighboring mound and the cross being formed 
they lifted it on high before the soldier and the savage. 

On the next morning the solemn procession was formed, led by 
De Soto and the Indian Chief. Then followed the soldiers of Spain 
and the Indian warriors, then the priests who came with De Soto, 
clad in brilliant vestments, chanting their hymn of praise, the glori- 
ous Te Deum laudamus. Around that cross they gathered, before it 
were lowered flags of Spain, and the vast assemblage, soldier and 
tribesman alike, bowing low, offered their greetings before the symbol 
of redemption to the white man's God. And the chronicler tells us 
that "even the soldier heart of De Soto was moved to tenderness to 
see in this strange and pagan land a savage people worshipping with 
humility and tears before the cross of Christ." 

So let it stand that three hundred and eighty-one years ago there 
was raised for the first time within the confines of the State of 
Missouri the cross of Christ. Indeed the scene is one the Christian 
imagination loves to linger on, for beyond its historic value and deep 
significance it has in it all the elements of fantasy and romance. 

There is the mound where the sunshine rests. Around it stand 
in serried ranks the soldiers of Spain. Brightly wave the flags, the 
inspiring flags of Castille and Aragon. Here is nodding plume and 
gilded cuirass and gleaming sword. There the earth-stained bodies 
and painted faces of the Indian braves. Stolid of countenance are 
they, watchful and suspicious. And now, over all, the song of the 
friars. They are thinking not of lands or gold, but how they may 
serve and Christianize the savage. The song is sung, the Vexilla 
Regis. It is caught by the soldiers and echoes down the forest glades, 
while above the song and the singers, above the soldier and the sav- 
age, up there between the forest and the sky, stands the conquering 
symbol, the Cross of Christ. 

And this was in Missouri three hundred and eighty years ago. 

It is a long step from De Soto's time to our own day, and yet 
I will crave your indulgence while I relate an incident which occurred 
but a few years ago, which recalls and in a sense reproduces the 
one described above. 

Some eight or ten years ago a group of St. Louis ladies, members 
of the sodality of the Sacred Heart (the Children of Mary), many 
of them descendants of Missouri's first settlers, journeyed down to 
De Soto's land. Reaching the St. Francis River at the place where 
it enters the State of Arkansas, they took a raft and were towed up- 
stream about fifteen miles, and then on the banks of the river where 
still stood the forest primeval, where still grew the cypress and 
water oak and hemlock, this devoted band set up the cross and 
builded the altar and gathered prayerfully around it as did De Soto's 
followers in the long ago. So far as we can decipher De Soto's journey, 
it was that way he came, for there is the basin of the St. Francis, 
there to the east is "Crowley's Ridge" and Caligoa there in the dis- 


And I thought as I witnessed that scene in the silent forest, a 
repetition of one enacted in the very beginning of Missouri's history, 
that though times change and institutions decay, though the flags of 
France and Spain have long since been lowered, though even the 
forest monarchs yield to the woodman's ax, yet borne by hands and 
hearts such as these, the Sacred Standard shall to the end remain, 
resplendent and unconquered. 

About the year that De Soto marched westward in quest of gold 
a similar expedition was being fitted up on the Mexican border. 
Coronado, too, dreamed of gold and conquest, only that his dreams 
were more fantastic than De Soto's. Looking eastward from his 
New Mexico camp, he thought he saw on the eastern horizon vast 
plains and great cities and herds of cattle and fertile lands — them he 
would conquer and possess, and great would be his name — a con- 
quistador, a conqueror, a hero for evermore. So with camp supplies 
and followers, mostly soldiers, he marched through what is today 
Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and (perhaps) Missouri. His journey 
is described by his chroniclers, who give us signs and names and 
relate wondrous things, but how to fit them to the geography of today 
is a difficult and impossible task. Certain he came to mighty rivers 
and encountered strange peoples and traveled many leagues, but the 
seven cities of Cibola ne'er did he see. Then, when wearied by travel- 
ing and fighting, his remaining soldiers persuaded him to return, to 
return disillusioned and empty handed. But one of the group re- 
mained behind, for he, the friar, Juan de Padillo, found what he 
sought for. He found the Indians, whole tribes of them, savage and 
abandoned. With them he remained and taught them, until through 
the treachery of an alien tribe he was murdered. Somewhere in the 
Middle West lie the bones of its protomartyr, Juan de Padillo. 


Now, though the Cross was set up in the Southland and it 
gleamed from the Western plateaus three hundred and eighty years 
ago, yet we of St. Louis are satisfied to wait a century or more for its 
certain and definite advent in the hands of the illustrious Jesuit mis- 
sionary, Fere Marquette. 

Up there at St. Ignace, in the winter of 1672, the great mission- 
ary, Louis Joliet, was preparing for the great journey of discovery 
allotted to them. It was the day long wished for by Father Mar- 
quette. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, which he was 
then celebrating, he said: "I have longed that under the Blessed 
Mother's protection I might be permitted to visit in God's name and 
as His ambassador the numerous tribes of Indians that dwell by the 
banks of the Father of Waters." 

The following May, 1673, they select their Indian guides, assemble 
their flotilla of canoes, cross to Green Bay, then up the Fox River, 
make their portage across the divide into the Wisconsin and then 
into the broad waters of the Mississippi. 


And now commences the great journey. In frail barks (six 
canoes) they glide down the river, stopping- here and there where 
the tribes were encamped. Father Marquette spends a few days 
with each, then hurries on. Passed they now the mouth of the Des 
Moines River, now the Illinois, and then to the wonderment of the 
travelers, the great yellow Missouri comes sweeping down, at flood 
tide bearing, as Father Marquette said, whole islands on its angry 

And here at last, where St. Louis now stands could be seen, if 
we were here to see, the blackrobe gliding by; cross in hand, he scat- 
ters benediction. And this was the summer of 1673. 

It is not necessary to dwell on that journey further, nor to re- 
count the wonders and trials he encountered on the way : only to 
remark that while Marquette did not stop at St. Louis he undoubtedly 
landed on Missouri, for the record quite clearly points to his and 
Joliet's discovery of iron down in what is now Perry County and of 
their investigation of the same. 

Now, with Marquette our real history begins ; after him came the 
voyagetir and the coureur des hois, and the fur trader, and then the 
village and Monsieur le Cure, then the Church, and thus grew Kas- 
kaskia and Cahokia and Ste. Genevieve and St. Louis. During the 
century and a half that elapsed between Marquette and the admis- 
sion of Missouri to the Union, it is safe to say nine-tenths of all that 
was done and nine-tenths of all who migrated here were French ; that 
consequently the French gave us our earliest civilization, and now, 
after a hundred years I am wondering if it was not also the best ; for, 
representing and reproducing as they did, the best there was in fair 
France at the time that France ruled Europe, it appears certain that 
for genuine refinement, culture and graciousness it has stood and 
still stands unrivaled and unsurpassed. And these French colonists 
were Catholic, Catholic "to the manner born." They gave to river 
and town the names of the Christian heroes their nation honored ; 
the feast days and fasts they observed, and they lived in an atmos- 
phere more or less religious. They loved their language, their tradi- 
tions and their ancient faith, and whatever is recorded of their labors 
here may well be set down as the Gesta Dei per Francos. 

Refined in manner, they were a charitable people as well. To them 
we owe the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the beginnings of the 
many charitable institutions which gem our city, and for us Catholics 
of today are our consolation and our crown. 

Time is not given me to continue. I should have spoken of Mis- 
souri's one hundred years and instead I have gone centuries back of 
it to catch for you some faint reflections from the morning dawn of 
Missouri's history. But bright is the light that comes from that day's 
dawning, for it is the light of the Cross. 


And I have dwelt thereon for a double purpose. I wanted to 
bring home to you and to others the utter fallacy of the position of 
those who now would say, in face of this history, that our Catholic 
religion is a thing alien to, a thing foreign in our State; that as such 
it may perhaps be tolerated, but nothing more ; that Catholics because 
they are Catholics should be satisfied if they are not interfered with 
by the police, but that they must be very careful not to irritate nor 
unnecessarily to obtrude themselves on their more intelligent or more 
American neighbors. 

But my second and more vital purpose is that our Catholic people, 
heirs of these things, may, remembering them, prove themselves in 
this day not unworthy of their fathers in the faith ; that some of their 
zeal and all of their faith and charity may be yours. 

Your increasing opportunities should aid you the more intelli- 
gently to uphold their standard. They brought order out of chaos. 
They set up civilization where there was savagery and in place of 
tomahawk and scalping knife they brought the standard of the Prince 
of Peace. 

What they planted and watered with their tears be yours to 
cause to grow to still fairer proportions and more ample beneficence. 


Archbishop of St. Louis. 


On August 10, 1821, President Monroe, as the closing incident 
of a dramatic struggle that had lasted through three years, signed 
the proclamation which admitted Missouri into the Union. The pres- 
ent year, 1921, is accordingly the centennial of Missouri's statehood. 
Old folks are proverbially reminiscent ; and a State that has reached 
the century-mark may well give itself to retrospection and look back 
fondly on the steps by which she made her triumphal progress from the 
primeval wilderness to the towering heights of peace, plenty and so- 
cial prosperity on which she stands today. And yet, as Houck, who 
has given us the classic history of early Missouri, points out, the his- 
tory of the State begins long before 1821. Before there was a State 
of Missouri, there was a colonial Missouri and a territorial Missouri 
and it was in the colonial and territorial phases of its development 
that the real foundations of the commonwealth were laid. The his- 
tory of Missouri, above that of most other States, is rich in all the 
elements of the dramatic, the picturesque, the colorful; and at no time 
more so than during the period which preceded 1821. In the series 
of historical scenes which follow we are carried in three instances 
only beyond the American occupation; yet for the sons and daughters 
of Missouri who in this centennial year will set themselves to read 
the story of her growth from the first rude beginnings onward, every 
scene in the series will have its appeal as every one of them beyond 
question has its significance in the history of the State. 


May, 1541 
The First Incident in Missouri History. 

In 1541 Ferdinand De Soto, Spanish conquistador, came up from 
Tampa Bay with his soldiers of fortune to the Mississippi, which he 
crossed at some still unidentified point, probably near the site of 
Memphis. Then, marching up the right bank of the river, he halted 
in May-time at a place a little north of the south line of Missouri, at 
or near New Madrid, it would appear, in order that his followers 
might take a well-earned rest. And while they rested there in de- 
lightful rustic bowers which the Indians fashioned for their strange 



visitors, an incident occurred, the memory of which shall never quite 
perish from among- us, for it is the first thing that history has to 
record of the land we call Missouri. To De Soto came an Indian 
chief or cacique and said, "Sire, you and your men are of greater 
prowess than we; so must your God be of greater might than ours. 
Beg Him, therefore, to send us rain, for our corn is parched and 
great fear there is that we lose it all." To which petition De Soto 
made answer that he would do as he was requested. So, calling the 
chief carpenter, Francisco the Genoese, he bade him hew down a 
tree in the near-by forest, the tallest he could find, and make out of 
it a cross. And Francisco did as he was bidden, felling a huge cy- 
press, of such weight that a hundred men together could scarce lift 
it from the ground. Then out of the cypress he fashioned a mammoth 
cross which was set up on a hill or rather Indian mound that over- 
looked the Spanish camp. And on the morrow, at De Soto's word, 
a great procession was formed of fully a thousand persons, Indians 
mingling with the Spaniards, and the cacique walking beside De Soto. 
The friars chanted the litanies and the soldiers made the responses 
thereto. And when the procession was arrived at the cross, each and 
every one approached it devoutly, bent the knee before it and kissed 
it in token of reverence to the symbol of man's redemption; after 
which that majestic hymn of Christian praise, the Te Deum Laudamus, 
was sung- and the ceremony was over. Then, wonderful sequel to 
that impressive prologue of Christian supplication and worship, in 
the middle of the ensuing night came a great, copious downpour of 
rain. The delighted Indians hastened to express their gratitude to 
De Soto, but he made answer that their thanks were due not to him 
but to Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, who was the 
bestower of these and other far greater mercies.^ 

Such is the first scene disclosed by the curtain of time as it rises 
above the stage of Missouri history. 



In the June of 1673 Louis Joliet and James Marquette, the Jesuit, 
fresh from their discovery of the Mississippi, glided in their canoe 
over its turbid waters past the limestone bluff on which St. Louis 
was to rise in later years. That they were the first of white men 
associated by their presence, passing though it was, with the site 
of the metropolis, is a circumstance that brings them within the pur- 
view of Missouri history ; but theirs is a much more substantial claim 
to distinguished mention in the life-story of the State. Marquette and 
Joliet were in a very literal sense the men who put Missouri on the 
map. On Marquette's autograph map of 1673 the name of the State, 
with reference to an Indian tribe, appears as Oumessourits ; in Joliet's 

HOUCK, Hutory of Missouri, Vol. I. 


autograph map of 1674 as Messouri ; and finally in Marquette's pub- 
lished map of 1681 (Th^venot) as Oumissouri, which last form cur- 
tailed of the initial syllable, gives us the spelling as we have it today. 
Not only did these two enterprising Frenchmen put Missouri on the 
map ; they also did the same for the names Osage and Kansas, which 
(in forms almost identical with those in use today) appear for the 
first time in history on the Joliet and Marquette maps. The com- 
monwealth of Missouri thus owes the first historical mention of its 
name, the name of its second city and the name of one of its most 
beautiful rivers (Osage) to the same distinguished pair who have 
gone down in history as the discoverers of the great waterway that 
washes the entire eastern limit of the State. The chronicler of the 
commonwealth's greatness will not fail to salute with grateful recog- 
nition these two commanding figures that thus step on the stage at 
the very dawn of Missouri history. 



December 8, i6p8 

As the first recorded incident in the history of Missouri was the 
solemn and worshipful raising of a cross, so the earliest recorded 
incident in the history of St. Louis was the celebration of that central 
act of Christian worship, the Mass. In the late fall of 1698 three 
priests belonging to the Society of Foreign Missions, their names, 
Montigny, St. Cosme and Davion, with the gallant M. De Tonty in 
their company, came down to the Lower Mississippi from Canada 
under commission from the Bishop of Quebec to set up mission-posts 
among the Indian tribes settled along the great waterway. Passing 
through Chicago or what was to become such, they were the guests 
there of the Jesuits, Pinet and Binneteau, in their little mission house 
of the Guardian Angel, built on ground which is now in the very 
throbbing centre of the great metropolis of the West. Father Mon- 
tigny and his party, having descended the Mississippi to a point 
opposite the village of the Tamaroa, landed from their canoes on the 
west bank of the river. Here, then, they tarried a while on ground 
that is now within the municipal limits of St. Louis, probably near 
the foot of Arsenal Street ; and here, on December 8, 1698, the festival 
of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God, all three 
priests, it would appear, offered the august sacrifice of the New Law. 
Every Missourian and especially every St. Louisan will look back 
in a spirit of solemn pride on that memorable day when the site that 
was to see the growth of the first city of the State passed from out 
the night of prehistoric darkness into the clear sunshine of recorded 
history; and it is an easy date to remember, for the incident occurred 
exactly two hundred and twenty-two years ago last December 8, 1920. 




December 12 (13 1) 1698 

Only a few days pass since the coming of the missionary-priests, 
Montigny, St. Cosme and Davion to the site of St. Louis, when they 
write still another memorable page in the history of Missouri. One 
hundred and fifty-seven years later than De Soto's raising of the 
cross at the southeast corner of the State, the initial incident in Mis- 
souri history, these clerical pathfinders place another cross on Mis- 
souri soil. Wonderful it is that the first scenes to meet our gaze as 
the pageantry of Missouri history unfurls before us are these prayerful 
unfurlings of the standard of Christianity. On December 12 or 13, 
1698, on a hill in Perry County overlooking the Mississippi near Cape 
St. Antoine, Father Montigny's party planted their cross with ap- 
propriate ceremony. Within a few days of its occurrence. Father 
St. Cosme put the incident on record in a letter to Canada. "We as- 
cended the island or rock with some difficulty by a path and we planted 
a fine cross on it, chanting the Vexilla Regis, while our people fired 
three discharges from our guns. God grant that this cross, which 
has never yet been known in this place, may triumph here and that 
our Lord may abundantly spread the work of His Holy Passion, so 
that all these savages may know and serve him." 

Let it be noted here, as a sequel to this glorious incident, that 
the narrator. Father St. Cosme, later paid the full cost of his ad- 
venturous zeal, dying at the hands of the Indians he had come to 


Missouri's earliest settlement 

The Month of the River Dcs Peres. 


On the north bank of the river Des Peres at its junction with the 
Mississippi just within the south limits of the city of St. Louis, there 
existed for a few years subsequent to 1700 a French-Indian settle- 
ment, Missouri's earliest growth of civilized life. Hither, in that year, 
came the Kaskaskia Indians, having moved down from their village on 
the Illinois River where Marquette twenty-five years before had set 
up among them the first outpost of Christian civilization in the Mis- 
sissippi Valley. Hither also came the Tamaroa and with them the 
French from their village on the opposite side of the Mississippi. 
With the Kaskaskia was their pastor, Gabriel Marest of the Society 
of Jesus, and with the Tamaroa was their pastor also, Fran<;ois Pinet, 
of the same Society, the latter having but recently closed his Miami 
mission, the earliest religious establishment ever set up within the 
limits of Chicago. Frangois Pinet, Chicago's first resident priest, was 


likewise one of the group of Jesuit missionaries at the Des Peres 
settlement to whom belongs the distinction of having been the first 
resident priests on the site of St. Louis; so early a link of historical 
association do we discover between the metropolis of the Great Lakes 
region and the no less forward-looking metropolis of the Mississippi 



Missouri's Earliest Permayient Settlement 

The little French-Indian community at the mouth of the Des 
Peres hovers ghostlike for a brief spell over the threshold of Mis- 
souri history and then fades utterly from view into the surrounding 
gloom. Until yesterday, when it lifted its head clear of the mists 
of myth and legend and took rank as the first patch of civilized life 
ever laid out on Missouri soil, nothing of it more substantial had 
endured than a faint memory enshrined in the name of the stream, 
the Des Peres, or "Fathers' River", along the banks of which it one 
time nestled. 

To another Missouri settlement on the Mississippi, St. Genevieve, 
some sixty miles below St. Louis, falls the distinction of being the 
earliest in the State to last down to our own day. It was started 
on its career somewhere around 1730 in the "Big Field" {le grand 
champ) three miles or so below the present site of Ste. Genevieve. 
Of this, the old St. Genevieve, le zieux milage, surviving records tell 
us practically nothing. Later, in the last quarter of the eighteenth 
century, as the site of the old village fell bit by bit into the onrushing 
waters of the Mississippi, the French habitants shifted their homes 
some distance up the river and a new St. Genevieve was gradually 
formed. Here French social life of the pre-American period, woven 
of many charms, flourished apace and here to this day, despite the 
ravages of modernity, not a little of the eighteenth century atmosphere 
and color lingers on. 

No other place within the limits of the State brings you as close 
as does St. Genevieve to the realities of French culture and civiliza- 
tion that form so much of the background of Missouri history. On 
its streets you pass antique colonial houses with gable roofs and 
comfortable porches, mansions of an other day in which Monsieur 
and Madame once lived out their placid days with perhaps a 
truer relish of life than is possible to us moderns caught up in the 
rushing tide of twentieth century existence. You enter these houses 
and find the old-world suggestiveness of their exteriors echoed with- 
in. The exposed rafters of the ceiling catch your approving eye and 
you marvel to find wooden pegs and staples doing service for nails. 
For one who loves to visualize Missouri's storied past, a visit to St. 
Genevieve is a rare delight. 




February 14, 1764 

On December 3, 1763, Pierre Liguest Laclede, with plans in his 
head for a settlement that would command the entire Missouri River 
fur-trade, rode with Auguste Chouteau, a stripling of fourteen, to 
the top of a declivity overlooking the Mississippi, the same high 
ground on which the St. Louis Court House stands today. Looking 
east, he felt that every natural advantage was present to render the 
ground that stretched before him to the river-edge an ideal site for 
his proposed settlement. To young Chouteau he accordingly then and 
there delivered instructions to come up the following spring with a 
party of forty men then in winter quarters at Fort Chartres and lay 
off the new post according to plans he himself would furnish. That 
there might be no mistake about the location, Laclede blazed some 
trees with his own hand. To the blazed trees accordingly came 
Chouteau as soon as navigation opened, landing with his men on 
February 14, 1764, probably at what is now the foot of Market street. 
On the morning of the following day he put his men to work. La- 
clede soon joined the party, streets and lots were platted, houses 
built, commons and common-fields staked off and all the conventional 
adjuncts of a typical French settlement duly provided for, including 
an entire square dedicated to church purposes. Such was the found- 
ing of St. Louis, the canonized hero-king of medieval France lending 
his name to the little Christian community which men of his race 
had thus set up on the banks of the Mississippi. Sebastian Meurin, 
priest of the Society of Jesus, whose remains lie in the historic Jesuit 
cemetery at Florissant, was the first clergyman to officiate in the 
village; the first chapel, of logs, went up in 1768; the first resident 
clergyman, the Spanish Capuchin, Father Valentine, arrived in 1773 
and St. Louis on the religious side was well started on its progressive 
march to the development of today which has merited for it the title 
of the Rome of America. No less marvellous was the material de- 
velopment of Laclede's trading-post. It captured and held for years 
the Missouri-River fur trade, doing in 1769 a business in furs of 
$80,000 a year. Later it lost its ascendency in this capital field of 
trade, but in 1920, the wheel having come full-circle, won it back 
again, becoming the world's greatest fur-center, with sales aggregat- 
ing $20,000,000 a year. 



March 10, 1804 

On March 10, 1804, the curtain was rung down on the first two 
acts in. the dranm. of Missouri history, to rise, promptly on a third, 
which, by the grace of God, we still see played out before our eyes. On 


that day the flags of Spain and France were furled and the Stars and 
Stripes raised over the western moiety of the Mississippi Valley. 

Three great world powers, France, Spain and the United States 
have exercised proprietary rights over Missouri soil. The French 
regime began on the day that Robert de La Salle at the mouth of 
the Mississippi claimed the entire basin of the mighty waterway for 
Louis Quatorze, giving it the name Louisiana in honor of that great 
potentate and burying a leaden plate in the river bank in token of 
formal occupation ; and it ended in 1762 by the secret cession to Spain 
on the part of France of the city of New Orleans and the western 
portion of the Mississippi Valley. (In 1763, by the Treaty of Paris, 
the eastern portion of the Mississippi Valley was ceded by France to 
England). The Spanish regime lasted until 1803, when, by the treaty 
of San Ildefonso, Louisiana (as the portion of the Mississippi V^alley 
west of the river continued to be called) was ceded back to France, 
the Spaniards, however, remaining in occupation till the Americans 
came. For Napoleon, master of France's destinies at the moment, 
fearful lest Louisiana, which had thus recently come into his pos- 
session, should fall into the hands of the English, negotiated its sale 
to the United States. The Louisiana Purchase was effected in April, 
1803, France ceding to the United States the whole territory of Lou- 
isiana "forever and in full sovereignty" for a consideration of $15.- 
000,000 or about 3 cents per acre. 

Then, on March 10, 1804, the succession of the three sovereign- 
ties, Spanish, French and American, was symbolized in St. Louis 
with appropriate ceremony. First, the Spanish colors were lowered 
on the flagstaff planted before the shabby little Government house at 
Main and Walnut Streets. Next, the French colors were lowered, 
following which the Stars and Stripes were run up and the United 
States entered in possession of the richest and amplest sweep of terri- 
tory that has ever come to swell our national domain. In this epoch- 
making drama the arresting figure is that of the Spanish Governor 
of Upper Louisiana. No government could have entrusted so weighty 
a business as the surrendering of an empire to more fitting hands 
than those of Don Carlos De Hault De Lassus. Courtesy, tact, high- 
minded Christian sentiment attended his every move on the memor- 
able occasion. The official papers which he issued at the transfer, 
as you read them in Houck, are a delight. "God have you in his 
holy keeping," is his last word to the Spanish commandants that were 
to lay down their charges in consequence of the transfer ; and so with a 
prayer on her lips Spain bowed herself with dignity and grace off the 
stage of Missouri history. 



In 1821 Francis Gesseau Chouteau, resident of St. Louis and 
nephew of Auguste Chouteau, Laclede's associate in the founding of 


that city, left what was then as it is now, the tirst city of Missouri, and 
with his wife and children made his way in a pirogue up the Missouri 
River to the mouth of the Kansas. The journey took twenty days, a 
matter of some seven hours to the present-day traveler by rail. Here, 
then, at the great southwest bend of the Missouri, where its waters min- 
gle with those of the Kansas, came Francis Gesseau Chouteau, employee 
of the American Fur Company, to open a trading post for that pushing 
corporation^ No men ever had a keener eye for natural sites of ad- 
vantage than the old French path-finders and city-builders ; and with 
the instinct of his kind Chouteau selected this location as the in- 
evitable gateway to a great inland trade. "I should deceive myself 
greatly if considerable money is not to be made in this place", he 
wrote to a brother in St. Louis, the earliest forecast on record of 
the commercial possibilities of the site now occupied by Kansas 
City. One by one the elements gathered out of which was to issue 
the Kansas City that we know. As late as 1838 the standard gazetter 
of Missouri had no other name for the settlement at the mouth of 
the Kansas than "Chouteau's." But in that year Gabriel Prudhom- 
me's farm of two hundred and seventy one acres came into the hands 
of a stock company which proceeded to lay it off as a town to which 
it gave the name of Kansas. Thus were laid the foundations of 
the second city of the State, seventeen years after Francis Chouteau 
had come to the mouth of the Kansas to point out the potential 
greatness of a locality which has since developed as by magic into 
one of the world's largest centers of commerce and trade. 


1830 — 184s 

On the left bank of the Missouri some seventy miles above the 
mouth of the Kansas, the ground lifts up sharply enough from the 
water-edge into a line of thickly-wooded bluffs — the Blacksnake Hills 
of the Indians before the white man found his way to this charming 
pleasure spot of unspoiled nature. Here was a favorite crossing place 
of the Indians as they made passage of the great river below. A likely 
spot enough for a trader's hut ; nay, even for a community of whites 
if enough of such could be found with heart to fight the battle of 
life in this remote corner of the Missouri frontier. So at least thought 
Joseph Robidoux III, native-born St. Louisan, and merchant-trader 
by occupation, who in 1827 planted his trading post at what is now 
a point on Main Street in the city of St. Joseph. In 1830 he acquired 
the land on which the future city was to rise. Eight years later 
Peter De Smet, Jesuit and blazer of missionary trails across the Great 
Plains, on his way up the Missouri to evangelize the Potawatomi of 
Council Bluffs, made a short stop at Blacksnake hills to exchange 


greetings with his friend Joseph Robidoux IV, one-time student at 
St. Louis University. The Robidoux's were still the only white resi- 
dents in the locality, which went by the name of Robidoux's Land- 
ing. "There I had a long talk with J[oseph] R[obidoux], who keeps 
a store and runs his father's fine farm. He showed me a great deal 
of affection and kindness and expressed a wish to build a little chapel 
there, if his father can manage to get some French families to come 
and settle near them. The place is one of the finest in Missouri for 
the erection of a city." Joseph Robidoux's dream of a city springing 
up around his trading post blossomed into reality. Settlers flocked 
in, Robidoux's Landing became St. Joseph, with a town-plot made 
out and duly recorded in St. Louis in 1843, and the founder lived 
to see it a city of twenty thousand inhabitants. 



When Father Peter De Smet set out from St. Louis University 
in the spring of 1841 to lead the first Catholic missionary-party that 
ever crossed the great plains to Oregon, he opened up a chapter in 
Missouri history as fascinating as any within its covers. The sig- 
nificance of the chapter lies in the fact that it shows Missouri to have 
been something more than a sort of purveyor-in-chief to the Great 
West of traders, trappers, trail-blazers and adventurous pioneers. The 
State has also been a beacon light of Gospel truth to the Indian 
tribes in their native habitats from the Western frontier up to the 
shores of the Pacific. 

When that curious mixture of savage culture and lofty spiritual 
aspirations, the Salish or Flatheads at the headwaters of the Colum- 
bia River, began to grow anxious for a teacher that would advance 
them in knowledge of the white-man's prayer, their thoughts turned 
towards St. Louis. Already in 1831 four of their tribe had reached 
that city, two of them dying there after receiving Catholic baptism. 
They were followed in 1835 by Ignace La Mousse, the Iroquois, and 
his two sons, the latter baptized on that occasion at St. Louis Uni- 
versity. Ignace returned West without the priest he had come to beg 
of the ecclesiastical authorities in St. Louis. Later he set out on a 
second visit to St. Louis, but was massacred on the way. Finally, 
in 1839, two young Flathead warriors braved the perils of the wilder- 
ness to urge again the sending of a Catholic priest to their people 
beyond the Rockies. The Jesuits of Missouri, being now in a posi- 
tion to heed these repeated cries of spiritual distress, sent out Father 
De Smet in the spring of 1840 to ascertain by personal investigation 
the actual prospects of missionary effort in that quarter. His report 
was encouraging; and in the spring of 1841 he headed a party of 
missionaries who crossed the Great Plains to open among the Flat- 


heads in the Bitter Root Valley the first American Catholic Indian 
Mission west of the Rock Mountains. Other parties of Jesuit mis- 
sionaries went out from Missouri in subsequent years, and a great 
missionary enterprise on behalf of the Indian tribes of the North- 
west was thus gradually organized. After the Flatheads, other tribes 
were in turn evangelized — Coeur d'Alenes, Kalipsels, Skoyelpi, Flat- 
bows, Okinagans, Kutenai and at a later period, Blackfeet, Crows, 
Gros Ventres, Arapaho, Shoshoni and Sioux. A great outpouring of 
divine grace on all these children of the soil and an unforgetable 
chapter in the story of Christian missionary endeavour in the New 
World. And the chapter opens with the going forth from Missouri 
in 1841 of Father De Smet and his confreres to effect a spiritual con- 
quest the glory of which lights up with reflected radiance the State 
of which it was one of the most cherished privileges of the great mis- 
sionary to call himself a citizen. 

The foregoing episodes, events, high-lights or whatever you wish 
to call them, in Missouri history present no connected story. They 
stand isolated and apart, detached units, but brimful of meaning. 
They are suggestive, and this must be our excuse for presenting them 
in so fragmentary a fashion, of the wealth of inspiring detail that 
enters into the story of Missouri and gives that story its indubitable 
power to attract and charm. Let Missourians in this centennial year 
of the commonwealth's admission to statehood come to know as most 
of them probably have not known before, the priceless heritage that 
is theirs in Missouri's storied past. Few, if any, slates in the Union 
so link themselves up with the romance and pageantry that belong 
to old-world civilizations as does our own. And in the historic deeds 
of her makers, their pluck, their energy, their enterprise, their master- 
ful wrestling with the wilderness, Missouri shows at play all those 
varied forces that have placed our beloved United States in the fore- 
iront of the nations of the world. 






Petit Manchac, Vermillionville, Lafayette — each of these three 
names might well be taken to typify a distinct period in the life of the 
thriving little city by the Bayou Vermillion. To the latter it owes not 
only the name by which it was long known, but its very existence. 
Years before the American Revolution, when the Attakapa redman, 
whose presence is still attested almost at every step, roamed in his 
primaeval liberty through the beautiful hunting grounds west of the 
Bayou, Petit Manchac had already acquired a bit of notoriety. Up to 
Petit Manchac rowed the canoes of EngHsh smugglers ; there, safely 
ensconced between the high banks of the Vermillion and behind the 
luxuriant forest growth on either side of the stream, to the great an- 
noyance of the Spanish officials, they bartered for peltries the product 
of civilization most coveted by the benighted natives : firearms, ammu- 
nition and . . . fire-water. 

The coming of the exile Acadians to the Attakapas gradually 
brought a welcome change along the Vermillion. After a much needed 
rest in the neighborhood of the Post of St. Martin, they soon realized 
they could not remain huddled together in the camps ^ which had been 
set up for them on the T^che, and where death soon caused great rav- 
ages. Aided by the Department of Poblacion y Amistad de Indios, '^ 
some gradually left their first refuge to seek a home to the northwest, 
on the Cote Gelee and even across the Vermillion and along the Bayou 
Carencro. ^ 

Well could the newcomers be attracted by the country opening 
before them. Just west of the Bayou was the southernmost extremity 
of the same ridge upon which the Post of Opelousas, farther up north, 

1. Those camps were successively established in different locations; at least such is 
the inference naturally drawn from the expressions of the church Registers of St. Mar- 
tin's.: "premier," "dernier camp d'en bas." 

2. Established in 1767. 

3. This Creek's name, which is found commonly used in documents of the end of the 
eighteenth century, and, therefore, must have been introduced a number of years previous, 
seems to bear testimony to the early presence in the neighborhood of an English-speaking 
element of population. Carencro — a corruption of "carrion crow" — is the name of the 
buzzard in the Louisiana French dialect. 



had been keeping watch for the last fifty years. The whole district 
"has an appearance and peculiarities that are unique in the colony of 
Lower Louisiana. It is an intermixture of hills and valleys, and 
presents an agreeable diversity of high and level country. . . . (The 
perspective) varies every moment, and at the least change of position, 
the picturesque points of view with which it is embellished. Another 
advantage or pleasure, at least, peculiar to that district, is that of the 
springs and clear running water by which it is irrigated. Everywhere 
else one sees only the dull and gloomy waters of the river and bayous, 
or the still, brackish water of the lakes." * 

Yet another advantage attached to the new location, an advantage 
much appreciated by these staunch Catholics exiled for their faith : 
their concessions were within reasonable distance from St. Martin. 
By degrees the banks of the Bayou Carencro, the Grande Prairie and 
the surrounding country west of the Vermillion, well suited for cattle- 
raising, were dotted with extended farms, of which a small portion 
was cultivated, and the rest given over to innumerable herds of cattle.' 
The Parish Registers of St. Martin aflford us a glimpse into the popu- 
lation of the district in the last decade of the eighteenth century: the 
names of Mouton, Duhon, Arcenaux, Bernard, Broussard, Breaux, 
Thibodeaux, Benoit, Hebert, Landry, Martin, Guedry, Trahan, which 
are to this day so common in Lafayette, represent the Acadian ele- 
ment. Other inhabitants were of various origins : Louis Bonin was a 
native of the Alibamons; Jacques Fostin came from the Illinois (Kas- 
kaskia),*^ and le Chevalier Alexandre De Clouet ^ evidently from 

In those times of great missionary rambles, no doubt but that 
these new settlements were visited from time to time by the pastors 
of St. Martin des Attakapas f but we have no distinct records of such 
visits made by Fathers Joseph de Aracena (1782-1783), Gefrotin 
(1783-1787), Merceda (1787-1788), Bernard de Deva (1788-1791) 
and George Murphy (1792-1794). But with the coming to St. Mar- 
tin's, on March 8, 1795, of Father Michael Bernard Barri^re, we begin 
to have positive documentary information concerning the pastoral 
visitations to the settlers about the Vermillion. The role played by 

4. Berquin-Duvallon. Vue de la Colonic Espagnole du Mississippi ou des Provinces 
dc Louisiane et Floride Occidentale. Paris, An xi (1803), p. 54. 

5. About the year 1800, a head of cattle was worth four to five dollars, and a horse 
six to eight. 

6. His wife, FranQoise Trahan, whom he married at St. Martin's, on July 18, 1772, 
was an Acadian. 

7. Alexandre De Clouet was, in 1775, captain and lieutenant-governor of the Attakapas 
and Opelousas. He had married Dame Louise Favrot. The Regist-e de- Baptemes of St. 
Martinsville informs us that a daughter, Marie Louise Hiacinthe De Clouet, was born to 
them April 8, 1776 and baptized on August 26 of thp same year; she was, the same day, 
gcdmot>ier to Louise Duc-est. This precocious godmother was just sixteen months old. 
According to a letter of Governor Claiborne to Secretary Madison, dated New Orleans, 
January 24, 1804, A. De Clouet was still commandant of the District of the Attakapas 
in the early part of 1803; he must have moved to the Bayou Vermillion shortly after 
the above date; at any rate, he is given as a resident of the latter place at the time of 
the marriage of his daughter Marie Charlotte to Frangois Chevalier i)e Lhomme, August 
7, 1809. 

8. It seems that certain rectors, dissatisfied with the name, adopted other patrons: 
so we find successively in the Records the parish designated at St. Joseph and St. Ber- 
nard. The original name at last was restored and prevailed. 


that worthy priest in the early history of Catholic Lafayette will be 
our excuse for a more extended notice. 

Father Barriere, born at Bordeaux, France, had been ordained 
for some years and was exercising the holy ministry in his native 
country at the time the French Revolution broke out. But when, in 
less than three years, the long looked-for Sun of liberty was shuffled 
out by the dark clouds of godless anarchy, and the priests had to stifle 
their consciences by taking the schismatic oath of the Constitution 
Ciznle du Clcrge, or else face the terrible pontoons of Rochefort or 
even the guillotine, Barriere, staunch in his allegiance, escaped the 
consequences of his fidelity as an insermcnte by timely putting the 
frontier between him and the ubiquitous informers of the Committee 
of Public Safety. By what circuitous route he found his way to Balti- 
more, where he ofifered his services to Bishop Carroll, we know not. 
At all events, the American prelate welcomed him and before long, in 
September 1793, he was on his way to Kentucky, with the high-sound- 
ing title of Vicar General of the Bishop for those remote districts, and 
in company with another Frenchman, Father Stephen Theodore Badin, 
the proto-priest of America, ordained just a few months before (May 
25, 1793). 

The two missionaries left Baltimore on the 6th of September, 1793, 
and traveled like the Apostles, on foot to Pittsburgh, over bad roads 
and a rugged wilderness country. On the 3rd of November, they em- 
barked on a flatboat, which was descending the Ohio, with six others. 
These boats were all well armed, for fear of an attack from the Indians. 
About that time, however, General Wayne was preparing his great ex- 
pedition against them; and they had enough to do to defend their own 
wigwams, without prowling about near the frontier settlements. 

The boats were seven days in going down to Gallipolis; and between 
this place and Pittsburgh, the travelers saw but two small towns 
Wheeling and Marietta. The two priests remained for three days 
at Gallipolis, the inhabitants of which place were French Catholics, 
who had been long without a pastor.^ They heartily welcomed the 
missionaries, who, during their brief stay, sang High Mass in the gar- 
rison, and baptized forty children. The good French colonists were 
delighted; and shed tears on their departure. They were but a remnant 
of a large French colony of about 7,000, who had emigrated to America 
four or five years previously. A French land company had purchased 
for them a large territory on the Scioto river ; but the title to these 
lands proved defective : the colonists were defrauded, and many of them 
returned in disgust to France, bitterly inveighing against Yankee 
shrewdness in bargaining. 

The two missionaries landed at Limestone, or Maysville, where 
there were at that time about twenty families. They proceeded on foot 
to Lexington, a distance of about sixty-five miles. They passed the first 
night in an open mill, six miles from Limestone, lodging on the mill- 
bags, without any covering, during a cold night, late in November. On 
the next day, they passed the battle-ground of the Blue Licks, where 
Mr. Barriere picked up the skull of one of those who had fallen there 
eleven years before. He carried it with him, and retained it as a relic 
of the disastrous battle, and a memento of death. On the first Sunday 

9. On that ill-fated colony, see Lawrence T. Kenny, S. J.: The GalUpolis Colony 
(1790), in The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. iv, No. 4 January 1819, pp. 415 — 451. 


of Mr. Badin said Mass, for the first time in Kentucky, at 
Lexington, in the house of Mr. Dennis McCarthy, an Irish Catholic, 
who acted as clerk in the commercial house of Colonel Moyland, brother 
of the then Bishop of Cork. 

The missionaries had with them but one chalice; and after having 
oflfered up the Holy Sacrifice, Mr. Badin traveled sixteen miles to the 
Catholic settlement in Scott County, where Mr. Barriere said Mass on 
the same day. Preparations were then in progress to erect in this place 
a frame church. Mr. Badin remained in Scott County for about eighteen 
months, occasionally visiting the other Catholic settlements in Kentucky; 
Mr. Barriere proceeded immediately to take charge of the Catholic 
families in the vicinity of Bardstown. 

The difficulties of the times, and the rude state of society in the 
infant colonies, soon determined Mr. Barriere to leave the country. His 
habits had been already formed, and he thought that he could not adapt 
himself to the new state of things in the wilderness.!^ Accordingly, 
about four months after his arrival in Kentucky, he left the State. In 
April, 1/94, he departed from Louisville in a pirogue^- for New Orleans, 
which, with all Louisiana and Missouri, was then in possession of the 

The Spanish government was at that time apprehending an attack 
on Louisiana from the French Republic; and Mr. Barriere, being _ a 
Frenchman, was arrested and detained for some time at New Madrid. 
He immediately wrote to Baron Carondelet, the Spanish Governor of 
Louisiana, representing the objects of his visit : and the Baron soon 
liberated him, and permitted him to proceed, without further molesta- 
tion, to New Orleans. Shortly after his arrival in this city, he went to 
Attakapas, where he labored zealously on the missions. ^^ 

Not long after his arrival at St. Martin, Father Barriere com- 
menced the regular rounds of the extensive territory confided to his 
care. As, on his return home/'' he never failed to register the Acts 
of sacerdotal ministry accomplished during his mission, these entries 
afford us valuable information on Catholic life in the district in and 
around the modern Lafayette. Of any village then in existence we do 
not hear a word — a good evidence that there was as yet none at the 
time: the priest stopped at the houses of his parishioners. Usually, it 
seems, he crossed the Bayou between Breaux Bridge and Carencro, 
then went south and re-crossed the Vermillion about, or a little south 
of the present site of Lafayette, whence he reached home over the 
Cote Gelee. Sometimes, for one reason or another, he changed his 
itinerary, and we see him go by way of the Cote Gel^e to some habita- 
tion near the present site of Lafayette. 

From the testimony of the Church Registers of St. Martin it ap- 

10. December 1, 1793. 

n. To these difficulties must be added that of the language. He was never able, it 
seems, to get sufficient hold on th English, and his entries on the Registers of the Louis- 
iana parishes where he officiated bear witness to this fact. 

12. "A large species of canoe, in common use at this period on the larger of the 
western waters." Ben. J. Webb, Catholicity in Kentucky, p. 163. 

13. M. J. Spalding: Sketches of the Early Catholic Missions of Kentucky, pp. 61 
foil. What Archbishop Spalding writes further of Father Barriere's subsequent life in 
Louisiana, and death, is not always accurate; but this does not diminish the value of 
the foregoing account, based on first-hand information. Ben. J. Webb, in the volume 
cited above, follows very closely Archbishop Spalding. 

14. Father Barriere lived about a mile from the village, but walked in every day to 
say Mass. On Sundays he remained about the church all day. The Church of the Attaka- 
pas, 1750 — 1889, in American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. .xiv, 1889, pp. 462 — 487. 


pears that during the time of his incumbency at the latter place (March 
8, 1795 to October 1804), Father Barriere visited this neighborhood 
some fifteen times. These little salidas — to use his own expressions^ — 
took him habitually three or four days. His customary stations were, 
about the site of the modern village of Carencro, at Mrs. Arcenaux" 
and Pierre Hebert's, although we find him occasionally stopping with 
Pierre Bernard, Frangois Caramouche, Joseph Mire, Joseph Breaux^^ 
and, in 1804, Frederic Mouton. Farther south, at the Grande Prairie, 
Father Barriere found the large plantation of Jean Mouton "I'Oncle, 
dit Chapeau''/^ where he never failed to go ; once in a while we meet 
him also at the house of Marin Mouton, Jean's brother, of Anselme 
Thibodeaux, Don Nicolas Rousseau, Joseph Hebert, Louis Trahan 
and Pierre Trahan. Still farther down along the Bayou, he sometimes 
visited Mrs. Daygle and the Landrys, whilst on the Cote Gelee he was 
twice the guest of Don Jean Baptiste Broussard ^^ and once of Jean 
Baptiste Comeaux. 

From this little survey of Father Barriere's missionary activity in 
connection with the then almost prehistoric Lafayette, we already get 
an inkling of his character. He appears to us as a good, simple man 
and an unselfish, pious and zealous priest. A glance at his records of 
this period and the work he undertook to save from destruction the 
church papers left by his predecessors betray, moreover, a happy and 
uncommon habit of order, which could be inspired only by genuine 
interest in, and love of his parish. And should anyone be tempted to 
think that his pastoral visits to these quarters were too rare and far 
apart, let him bethink himself that the good man had, besides his 
flock of St. Martin and along the Vermillion, "other sheep that were 
not of this fold". The territory under his spiritual care was immense, 
and we see him once in a while saddle his horse for trips down the 
"Baillou Tech," as he writes, the Prairie St. Jacques, la Cote des 
Anglais, la Prairie Salee, la Cote des Allemands,^*^ and returning by 
way of New Iberia (already in existence and known by that name), 
where he stopped at the house of Joseph Saingermain, a native of Fort 
de Chartres, Illinois. At other times he had to direct his course down 
the Bayou Vermillion, or yet en el parage de la Punta, as he puts it, 
where he assembled the scattered Catholics of the neighborhood in the 
habitation of Mrs. Claude Martin. When we bear in mind that the 

15. The entries of that period are written in Spanish. 

16. He usually writes the name 'Arsonnau.' 

17. He spells 'Bro'. 

Id. This Jean Mouton Sr., was the son of Salvator Mouton, an Acadian, who in 
17SS was living in the parish of St. James and engaged in tilling the soil. The Archives 
of the church of St. Martinsville show that he and his wife, Anne Bastaroche, had emi- 
grated to Louisiana from Acadia. They died shortly afterwards, leaving three children 
in early childhood: Marin, our Jean, who was horn at Halifax, and a daughter. Jean 
Mouton, when first noticed, was engnged in boating up the Wachita and Arkansas rivers, 
trading with the Indians. Afterwards he settled in the parish of the Attakapas, where 
he married Marthe Bordat towards the year 1783. Thirteen childrtn were born of this 
marriage: Jean Baptiste (fils), Joseph, Francois, Charles, Don Louis (p^re), Alexandre, 
Emile, Cesaire, Marie, Adelaide, Marthe, Celeste and another daughter. 

19. Then lieutenant of the militia. 

20. Not the Cote des Allemands on the Mississippi river, but another German, settle- 
ment apparently in St. Mary's parish. 


pastor of St. Martin's owed his ministrations to so many far and wide, 
it seems, after all, that his parishioners of the Grande Prairie did not 
fare ill at his hands. 

Before we take a short leave of Father Barriere — for we shall 
meet him again, it will not be amiss to allude here to a little episode 
which occurred towards the end of his stay at St. Martinsville and car- 
ried his name to the very Capital of the American Republic. This inci- 
dent, which affords us an insight into another feature of Father Bar- 
riere's character, is but one instance of the troubles caused in the 
Church of Louisiana at the time of the change of government. It is 
thus told by Governor Claiborne in a letter to Secretarv Madison, of 
May 29, 1804 :2^ 


In the District of Attakapas a very great dispute has arisen between 
two priests. A man by the name of Barrier^s was superseded by Mr. 
Laussat,-^ and a priest of the name of Veal^* named his successor,^^ 
Lately the Head of the Catholic Church in Louisiana, a Mr. Welsh,^^ 
recalled Veal, declared his powers under Mr. Laussat nul and reinstated 

A few Sundays since, the rival priests appeared at the Church at- 
tended by their different Partizans who were numerous and very much 

Lieutenant Hopkins, the Civil Commandant of the District, appre- 
hending that the public peace was endangered, took upon himself to 
shut the doors of the Church, and deny entrance to either party, until 
the matter was reported to me, and my instructions received. 

This expedient preserved the public peace, and was, I learn, very 
pleasing to all parties. 

I have referred the affair to the Rvd. Mr. Welsh, the head of the 
Catholic Church in Louisiana, and addressed to Lieutenant Hopkins a 
letter, etc. 

I am, Sir, with great respect, your h.ble serv.t, 

William C. C. Claiborne. 

21. Original in the Department of State, Washington, Bureau of Rolls and Library. 
Gov. Claiborne's Correspondence relative to Louisiana, Vol. II. Prnted in Lousisiana under 
the Rule of Spain, France and the United States, 1785 — 1807, by James Alex. Robertson. 
Vol. II, pp. 265—266. 

22. So does Governor Claiborne spell, according to Englicized pronounciation. This 
is neither worse nor better than the spelling 'Barrigres' adopted by Archbishop Spalding, 
Webb and Shea. 

23. The French Commissioner sent to make the double transfer of Louisiana. 

24. Claiborne again follows the pronounciation in his spelling. The true name of this 
priest was Viel. Etienne Bernard Alexandre Viel was born in New Orleans in 1736, and 
became a Jesuit. After the suppression of the Society of Jesus he remained in Louisiana 
and lived for many years in Attakapas, ministering to the Indians of those parts and teach- 
ing a small school for the children of the inhabitants of that region, which made him much 
beloved of the people. Many considered him the greatest living Latinist. Indeed he had 
even the reputation of being a fanatic in his love for Latin, and holding nothing fit to be 
published unless it was in Latin. He translated Fgnelon's T^lemaque into beautiful Latin 
verse, and the work was splendidly brought out by some distinguished men who had been 
his pupils. He died in France in 1836. See The Church of the Attakapas, cited above. 

25. How Viel had attracted the attention of Laussat, is not known. The Registers 
of St. Martin's bear, in their own way, witness to the change here mentioned by Clai- 
borne. After December 1, 1803, we cease to find any entries signed by Barriere. That is 
apparently the time of his removal by Laussat. However, Vial's ministry commenced only 
on February 12, 1804. 

26. On the Very Rev. Patrick Walsh — not Welsh — , see J. G. Shea, History of the 
Catholic Church in the United States, Vol. II, pp. 584 — 591. It must be said that Father 
Walsh had only a colored, therefore very precarious, title to the headship of the Catholic 
Church in Louisiana. 


Claiborne's letter to Hopkins gave "entire approbation" to the lat- 
ter's conduct and directed him to retain in his possession the keys of 
the church until new orders. It took quite a while to settle the alfair; 
but at the end Barriere won the day; and we see him again, in June 
1804, in possession of his church and Registers and inaugurating his 
now undisputed tenure of office by a visit to his parishioners on the 

It cannot be doubted that his successor. Father Gabriel Isabey, 
O.P., (November 1, 1804 — June 21, 1823) continued the custom of 
making once in a while the rounds of the distant parts of the parish. 
True, he does not specify in his entries the places where baptism was 
administered ; but as he is careful to mark the place of origin of the 
recipients, f. i., "of the Bayou Vermillion," and baptisms of infants 
of the same neighborhood are often bunched together, the natural in- 
ference is that they occurred at the occasion of the pastor's missionary 

In 1812, Father Barriere, who had remained most of the time at 
St. Martinsville and who, at that time, having no parish of his own, 
liked to qualify himself "pretre approuve pour tout le Diocese," reap- 
pears on the scene: on March 31, he officiated "au quartier du Caren- 
cros," at the marriage of Jean Baptiste Benoit, of Opelousas, with 
Heldne Roger, of Carencro. He was still — or again — there a week 
later, "sent by Father Isabey," as the Register is careful to note, when 
Joseph Hebert married Justine Guilbeau; and. some few months later 
we find him "au Vermillion," presiding at the nuptials of Joseph 
Guedry with Marie Comeaux. 

It is interesting to note, in connection with the last entry, that the 
Register says no longer "au Bayou Vermillion," as fifteen years be- 
fore, but simply "au Vermillion." Trivial as it seems, the change, 
which we notice for the first time in 1800, seems to point out the in- 
ception of a new order of things, namely, the existence of an embry- 
onic village, called after the Bayou. Most happy certainly was the 
selection of the spot, on high ground, in the open Grande Prairie, some 
two and a half miles north of the old site of Petit Manchac. Today 
a stranger, coming into town, would be at a loss to know whether the 
lown or the forest, or both together, were moved from the Bayou ; for 
such is the magnificent growth of stately live oaks and sweet-smelling 
magnolias, that it might be well imagined that originally the woods 
must have extended to the plateau upon which the city is situated. 

Like other old towns of Louisiana, Lafayette, too, leaves the im- 
pression as though its founders were ignorant of the rules of sym- 
metry. Its streets are extremely crooked. The newcomer, thinking 
himself on the principal thoroughfare of the town, lined as it is with 
substantial business houses and fronted by the imposing Gordon Hotel, 
will inevitably come to grief, should he attempt to follow that street. 
Of a sudden the pretty buildings cease. Well may he be puzzled : for 
he missed the right corner at the right moment. The street, which 
offered such alluring inducements of up-to-date buildings, suddenly 


ceases to be the main street and ends abruptly at the maze of intricate 
sidings in the yard of the Southern Pacific. 

The reason for this lack of regularity is not far to seek. The 
original inhabitants of Vermillionville followed the accepted rule of 
laying out the streets according to the compass. The Morgan Line, 
however, does not exactly follow these lines, but runs from the south- 
east slightly to the northwest. The Louisiana Western and Texas R. R. 
connects with the Morgan Line at almost right angles, thus forming a 
very sharp curve. The Railroad station, when first built, was almost 
one mile from the center of the town. In the course of time additions 
came to existence around old Vermillionville, each one following its 
own lines of survey influenced by the railroad. When gradually these 
additions were absorbed into the town, it fell out that, by following 
the crooked lines of the two branches of the Southern Pacific, the 
streets had perforce assumed the shape of the curved tracts. 

But this is modern history. We must presently revert to the time, 
some sixscore years ago, when, around a little plantation store — sinde 
this is admittedly the origin of every American town — rose the little 
hamlet of Vermillion. In due time its increase called for a correspond- 
ing increase of the name : thus Vermillion became Vermillionville. But 
its ecclesiastical status remained unchanged : Vermillionville was a 
churchless mission of St. Martinsville. 

On March 10, 1821, Bishop Louis William Du Bourg, being then 
engaged in making the Episcopal Visitation of the parish of Grand 
Coteau, erected some two years before, determined officially the limits 
of this new parish. They were 

the course of the Vermillion up to a branch of the same Bayou 
which goes to the Louis Bridge, and following that branch as far as 
said bridge. From the same, straight to the line dividing the two coun- 
ties of Opelousas and Attakapas. Thence that line as far as the Atcha- 
falaya ; then that river up to the confluence of Bayou Courtableau. From 
that point a line almost parallel to the county line, so as to include 
Prairie Laurent, until that line crosses the Teche. From there a straight 
line reaching the habitation of Dr. Raphael Smith, so as to include it in 
the parish. Thence another line to Bayou Mallet, enclosing the Prairie 
of the same name ; and finally down to the sea.'''. 

This decree dismembered all the territory west of the Vermillion 
from St. Martin's parish, to attribute it to Grand Coteau, and put 
Vermillionville under the jurisdiction of Father Hercule Brassac, the 
young rector of the new parish. ^^ 

27. That is, down the Bayou Mallet and the Mermentau river to the Gulf. Register 
of Baptisms of Grand Coteau. 

28. Baunard is evidently mistaken when he states (Life of Madame Duchesne, Eng. 
transl., p. 224) : "Mr. Brassac, the Cur4, also served the parish of Alexandria, eighty miles 
further north, those of St. Martinsville and Vern;illionviIle to the south, and of Bayou 
Chicot to the west." In August 1821, when the Ladies of the Sacred Heart came to Grand 
Coteau, there was no parish of Alexandria in existence; St. Martinsville had its own 
pastor, Father G. Isabey, who lived until 1823; Vermillionville had not yet a church; as 
to Bayou Chicot, if it had a church, it was outside the limits of the parish of Grand 
Cote'au and lay not west, but far to the north, within the territory of the parish of 


Father Brassac was a Frenchman, born at Marvejols, in the Dio- 
cese of Mende, Lozere. Being one of the recruits enlisted by Bishop 
Du Bourg for the Louisiana Mission during the latter's long sojourn 
in France (1816-1817) after his consecration, he came to America 
with that prelate and some thirty others on the Caravane in 1817. That 
he was then sufificiently advanced in his ecclesiastical studies, is evi- 
denced by the fact that he received Minor Orders and Subdeaconship 
from his Bishop in the chapel of St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, soon 
after landing at Annapolis. For nearly a year he continued his the- 
ology at St. Thomas Seminary, Bardstown, Ky., under Father Rosati ; 
and arriving at the Barrens, Mo., the 1st of October, 1818, with all 
the Louisiana clerical colony of Bishop Du Bourg, he was, shortly 
after, ordained Deacon, and on All Saints' Day invested with the Holy 
Priesthood at Ste. Genevieve, Mo. After spending some time at Har- 
risonville. 111., where he inaugurated his sacerdotal ministry, he was 
sent to Grand Coteau, his letter of appointment bearing the date of 
April 29, 1819. -« 

How much of his time and solicitude the energetic young pastor 
devoted to his mission of Vermillionville, we cannot state exactly, for 
the Parish Books of Grand Coteau, orderly as they were kept, do not 
reveal the places where the ministrations which they record were per- 
formed, or even the exact location of the homes of the parties; they 
were in the parish: that was enough. But in the absence of such in- 
dications as we should Hke to find, we have a most important fact, 
attested by the ever accurate Father Barri^re in a note written by him 
on the fly-leaf of one of the Registers of Lafayette. Which Register 
it was, is impossible to say now, because the leaf, or at least such a 
portion thereof as still remains, was found some fourteen years ago 
hidden in a bundle of deeds of the Church property. At any rate, the 
note in question reads : 

Benediction de I'eglise St. Jean du Vermillion 
30 Decembre 1821. 

Churches, as a rule, are not the product of spontaneous genera- 
tion. Indeed it takes sometimes quite long to see them erected ; and 
for this reason it is not at all unlikely that the first steps towards the 
construction of the church of Vermillionville were taken by Father 
Isabey. However, as, since March 10, 1821, Vermillionville was a 
mission of Father Brassac, it is but natural to associate his name with 
the first church of Lafayette. 

Inseparable from the church, according to the jurisprudence of 
those times, was a Board of Trustees to administer it ; and the name 
of one at least of these original trustees has come down to us : Franqois 
Carmouche, an old inhabitant, at whose house we have seen Father 
Barriere — who spelled the name Caramouche — stop occasionally in his 
trips about Carencro. Only a few months later, St. John's Church 
received from another of Barriere's old acquaintances donation of a 

29. Register of Baptisms of Grand Coteau. 


handsome piece of property, on part of which the church stood. The 
deed, interesting for more than one reason, must be cited here, at least 
iti an EngHsh translation :^" 

Before me, Paul Briant, Judge of the Parish of St. Martin, and ex- 
officio Notary Public in and for the said Parish,=5i and in presence of 
the witnesses hereinafter named, who also signed; presented himselt 
Mr. Jean Mouton, Sr., a farmer inhabiting this parish who, intending 
to give proof of his zeal for the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion, 
has, by the presents, made a donation, pure, simple and irrevocable, 
under all the guarantees de facto and de jure, to the Trustees adminis- 
trators of St. John's Church, for the perpetual use and benefit of said 
church, which has been accepted in the name of said church by Mr. 
Frangois Carmouche, one of the aforesaid Trustees administrators, in 
his name as well as in the name of the other Trustees, of a certain 
piece of land, situated in this parish at the Grande Prairie and in the 
same location where the said church is built,-^^ measuring five arpents 
and fifty- four hundredths of an arpent surface measure: in fact the 
same amount of land which is comprised within the bourns actually 
existing in that place, and which is designated by the plan herewith an- 
nexed, as drawn by William Johnston under date of the twelfth day of 
this present month of March. 

The aforesaid Trustees administrators, in behalf and in the name of 
the said church, may enjoy, do with and dispose of the said tract of land 
with all the property rights thereto, and enjoyment thereof, from this 
day forward, and may continue in the possession which they enjoyed 
since said church is built. 

This present donation is made through the motive, as expressed 
above, and because such is the will of the donor. 

The Act whereof was made and passed in the parish of St. Martin, 
in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, the twenty-first 
day of the month of March in the presence of Sieurs Valery Martin and 
Anaclet Richard, witnesses who have signed with the Sieur Carmouche 
and inyself. Judge; insofar as the donor is concerned, he declared he 
could not write: wherefore he made his mark after having heard the 
reading of this document. 

Jean Mouton ValEry Martin 

his + mark Anaclet Richard 

pRANgois Carmouche 
Paul Briant, Judge. 

A church, with its Board of Trustees, a piece of property belong- 
ing to it : these were great strides in the outward progress of Catholic- 
ity. Just one more step, and Vermillionville was to become a regular, 
independent parish, with its well defined limits and a pastor of its 
own. This step was finally taken by Bishop Du Bourg, on May 15, 

On the 15th of May, 1822, having come to the Attakapas and 
Opelousas, for the purpose of erecting the new church, or parish, of 
St. John of Vermillion, I have altered the limits assigned to that of 
St. Charles by rny decree of March 10, 1821. The limits I have fixed 
between the two parishes are : a straight line from the confluence of 
the Bayou Pont-Brule with the Bayou Vermillion, stretching as far as 
the end of the Island of Corencro; thence to the headwaters of the 

30. The original is, of course, in French. 

31. Vennillionville was then in the civil parish of St. Martin. 

32. The same piece of ground which constitutes to this day the church property. 


Bayou Queue-de-Tortue ; and following this Bayou and the Mermentau 
river down to the sea. 

In witness whereof I have signed in presence of the Rev. Hercule 
Brassac, formerly pastor of St. Charles, and of the Rev. S. Valezano, 
the present pastor. 

•t" L. Wm., Bishop of Louisiana.^^ 

As pastor of the infant parish the prelate appointed our old 
acquaintance Father Michael Bernard Barriere. 

Since the now far distant day when he had turned over the parish 
of St. Martin to Father Isabey, Father Barriere had, despite his high- 
sounding title of "Priest approved for the whole Diocese," lived in 
relative retirement for a number of years at St. Martin, where he occa- 
sionally lent a helping hand to his successor.^* He had even continued 
the practice of his occasional salidaj to distant points. One of these 
missionary excursions came near crowning his labors with the crown 
of martyrdom. As he was travelling in the vicinity of Lake Chitimacha, 
now Grand Lake, he was surprised by a party of Indians who forth- 
with set about to put him to death in true Indian fashion. Already they 
had wrenched out the nails of the fingers and toes of their prisoner, 
when the head of the tribe appeared on the scene, stopped the tor- 
tures, extended his protection over the missionary, took care of him 
and saw to his safe return to his home on the Teche. It is to the honor 
of Barriere's modesty that, among the many notes, some of which re- 
ferring to personal facts, wherewith he adorned the pages of his church 
registers, not a word is to be found in allusion to an event so honorable 
to him. The fact, though, was asserted, some fourteen years ago, to 
the Rev. F. L. Gassier, by an old Chitimacha woman of Charenton, 
La., who was the daughter of Fr. Barriere's deliverer. 

In 1813 we find him "in charge of the parish of Opelousas". ^^ 
If he had not learned much English during his years of retire- 
ment, he could still on occasions evince his uncompromising love 
for the laws of the Church. On the frame of a man well beyond 
middle age we expect that ten years weigh heavily: yet Father 
Barriere could still saddle his horse for distant missions through 
the length and breadth of his parish. His moments of leisure he 
spent quietly in his modest study with a few books, and above all, 
musing over the past — a sure sign of coming old age, — in company 
with the parish records, whose various entries at times stirred up in 
his soul such recollections and feelings, that he could not refrain 
from ventilating them in annotations which are now the delight of the 
curious reader. On the coming of Father F. H. Rossi to Opelousas, 

33. Register of Baptisms of Grand Coteau. 

34. In the Act of visitation of St. Martin, made on October 17, 1814, the Very Rev. 
W. L. Du Bourg, then Administrator Apostolic of the Diocese, approving the careful man- 
ner the parish Registers were kept, adds: "We have ordered to be annexed thereto by way 
of supplement a quire containing 294 baptisms administered from August 12, 180S to Oc- 
tober 18, 1809, by Father Barriere, Priest approved residing in this parish; but forbid 
anyone but the pastor to keep henceforth a separate Register for the functions he may 
exercise with the pastor's consent." 

35. See B. Colliard: Hisorical Sketch of the Parish of Opelousas, in St. Louis Cath- 
olic Historical Review, Vol. Ill, No. 1 — 2, January-April 1921, pp. 22-27. 


Pather Barriere once more retired, not completely, however, so that 
liis name yet recurs for some months in the parish Registers ; he must 
have resided at least for some time at Opelousas, as he had done at 
St. Martin after Father Isabey's appointment. It is apparently from 
this retreat that he was once more called to active duty, to take charge 
as pastor of his old mission of Vermillionville. He recalls the fact, 
and sums up in his characteristically laconic style the antecedent his- 
tory of the parish in the title page of the Register of Baptisms and 
Funerals of the Colored Catholics of the parish, which he began in 
1823 : 

The priestly functions have been exercized regularly in this parish 
during, or alx)Ut the month of June of this last year 1822. They were 
discharged by Father Brassac, rector of Grand Coteau, since about the 
time of the foundation of this church. Either the pastor of the Atta- 
kapas, or myself, or the pastor of Grand Coteau took care of this place 
before. Finally I was appointed resident pastor of it about May of last 
year ; and since then, have baptized in particular the following . . . 

Father Barriere himself furnishes us in the parish Registers the 
means of reaching greater precision than is yielded by the above state- 
ment regarding the date of his coming to Vermillionville. The first 
entry in the Register of Baptisms of the Whites is now so water-stained 
and decayed by dampness as to be illegible. The second, which per- 
haps belonged to the same day, is dated May 26, 1822. The Register 
of Baptisms of the Colored people does not permit us to go farther 
back. Hence Father Barriere must have come in the latter part of 
May, shortly after his appointment. 

The Register for the Colored people, it was remarked above, was 
begun only in 1823. Of course, it was compiled from notes taken at 
the time of the actual administration of the sacrament ; this late regis- 
tering of the entries manifests none the less a sad falling off from the 
orderly habit of yore, especially on the part of a man who. in the first 
months of his pastorate at St. IMartin, had toiled and moiled to preserve 
from destruction the scattered records of his predecessors. Quantum 
mutatns ab illo! Poor Father Barriere! He was now no longer the 
robust, active missionary who could spend days and weeks in the sad- 
dle, travelling from plantation to plantation in the exercise of his 
priestly functions. The keen critic of the Registers of the parishes 
no longer existed. His own records at Vermillionville show the hand 
of an old man reduced to feebleness by age and the ravages of con- 
suming fevers. He himself gives an account of this state of collapse 
touchingly eloquent in its brevity. After copying over the fiftieth entry, 
that of the Baptism of "Pranqoise n^grite a Rose negress;e," performed 
December 5, 1822, he writes : 

I believe that these are all the Baptisms of slaves which I liave per- 
formed, and also the burials at which I presided, during or since the 
month of June to December, all in 1822; but as at that time I fell very 
sick, it may well be that I forgot some of them, especially burials. For 
this reason I leave here these two leaves blank.^s to write them thereon, 
in case I should discover any. 

'Pages' would have been more exact, for he left exactly two pages blank. 


He did forget some, sure enough, for there is not one single entry 
of burials performed by him ; yet there were many deaths, even of 
slaves, during the fall of 1822, owing to the epidemic of yellow fever 
which caused so much havoc throughout Louisiana. 

After the above melancholy note, we find the title : 

Bapi'isms ov Negroes ior 1823. 

Here also are to be found the burials 

of negroes for 1823. 

This new section opens with this interesting entry of the burial 
of Father Barriere's own slave : 

Casimir, negro belonging to Mr. Barriere, pastor of this parish of 
St. John, died and was buried in the cemetery of this parish, the 2nd 
or 3rd"^ of the year 1823, during my great illness. He was the natural 
son of Marie Louise and Michel, my negroes. In witness whereof 
Barriere, pastor of St. John. 

For another year after he recovered from his "great illness" did 
Father Barriere work quietly and unobtrusively at Vermillionville, at- 
tending to his pastoral duties and, at his leisure hours, putting in book- 
form the records first jotted down on "hojas volantes," as he perhaps 
said to himself : for, strange to say, the good man, who had never taken 
to English, seems to have retained, even long after the Louisiana Pur- 
chase, a distinct liking for Spanish, and persisted even in his French 
records to sign his name "Mig.l Bernd.o Barriere". He always remem- 
bered with gratitude the hospitality given to himself and other eccle- 
siastical emigres by the Spaniards, then the lords of our fair South- 
land ; yet when the Stars and Stripes began to wave over Louisiana, 
America had no more loyal son, and it was with undisguised gusto that 
he noted how "Mr. Clement Laussat and his clique . . . finally decamped 
incognito"."** But now, broken in health and wasted to a shadow of his 
former self, unable to fulfill any longer the exacting and fatiguing 
duties of active missionary life, and — what is an exquisite pain to men 
who gave once their whole soul to the neighbor's service and whose 
zeal has outlived their strength — realizing keenly he had become use- 
less to the. cause of religion, he yearned to see once more his native 
land, to rest his eyes, weary of the sight of the endless Louisiana 
prairie, upon the vine-clad hills bordering the placid Gironde, and to 
seek there a quiet retreat wherein he could prepare the account of his 

His last funeral at Vermillionville he performed on March 1st, 
1824; and for the last time he administered the sacrament of Baptism 
on the 5th of the same month. Before leaving, however, remembering 
an omission of the year before, true to his life-long habit of order and 
accuracy, he wrote the following words in the Register of Baptisms :^^ 

37. The month is omitted, but it is obviously January. 

88. Register of Baptisms of St. Landry's Church, Opelousas, December 18, 1803; 
annotations by BarriOre on Father Louis Buhot's remarks on the end of the Spanish 
regime and the retrocession of Louisiana to France. 

3t>. P. 18. 


NoTA. Having gone to the Attakapas to assist Mr. Gabriel Isabey, 
rector of said parish, who was very sick, and who indeed succumbed to 
this illness, ■*o I baptized*^ (the names follow), and forgot to enter the 
names in the Register of the Attakapas. 

Shortly after, he sailed for Bordeaux, where he died eight days 
after his arrival. For thirty long years he had lived and faithfully 
labored in Louisiana ; for over twelve years he had spent himself for 
the Catholics on the banks of the Vermillion. Yet who is there now 
who ever heard his name? In very truth we may apply to himself his 
own words in relation to Bishop Pefialver : 

Sic transit memoria Boni! 

For practically nine months no priest was appointed to take his 
place. As long as Father Francis Cellini, CM., remained at Grand 
Coteau, he came to Vermillionville about every month, sometimes stay- 
ing a few days. He was there on April 19, Easter Monday : eleven 
Baptisms are recorded on this occasion, and the burial of Artemise 
Baseux, an infant ; two days later he buried likewise Charles Noldens, 
a native of Brussels, Belgium, and Marie Jeanne Luquette. Other 
visits followed on May 3, June 7, June 28 and 29, July 12, August 2 
and 3 (on the latter day he buried Marin Martin), August 18 and 
August 24, when he performed the last rites of the Church over the 
body of Theophile Broussard. Once also we meet, during these months 
of interregnum, the name of Father Marcel Borella, Isabey's successor 
at St. Martinsville, who presided at the funeral of Louis St. Julien,*^ 
a native of Bordeaux, and Simon Girouard. But the priest could not 
always be at hand when some of the parishioners passed away. Then 
the burial was made, and entered in the Book usually by two laymen, 
probably Trustees. Eleven such funerals are thus recorded, most of 
them by J. Neveu and Riviere, one by Andre Martin and Riviere, an- 
other by J. Neveu and J. Castenau, and yet another by Riviere alone. 
After Father Cellini's departure from Grand Coteau, in the first days 
of September 1824, his successor pro tern, Father Leon De Neckere, 
the future Bishop of New Orleans, who had come South in quest of 
health, was unable to continue these missions ; and no priest visited 
Vermillionville, save Father Charles De la Croix, pastor of St. Mi- 
chael's, La., who was there on October 9 and performed two Baptisms. 

This visit of Father De la Croix gives us a hint as to the reason 
of this long vacancy of the parish. He came, sent by Bishop Du Bourg 

40. Father Isabey died of heart disease, July 21, 1823. 

*i. Evidently at S't. Martinsville. 

42. Saint-Julien had, like Father Barrifire, the distinction of being the object of sev- 
eral of Governor Claiborne's reports to Secretary Madison; his name even went as far 
as Paris, in a letter of Laussat to Decres. The matter referred to in this correspondence 
concerns his ardent French sympathies at the time of the Lousiana transfer, and the death 
of his wife, of which he was, justly or unjustly, accused. The whole affair is treated in 
great detail in C. C. Robin's Voyages dans I'IntSrieur de la Louisiane, etc., pendant Us 
annees 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805 et 1806; Paris 1807; Vol. Ill, pp. 71-116. 


who was sick at the time, to confer with the Trustees about the main- 
tenance of the priest. Whether complaints had been made on this 
subject, and if so, by whom, we have no means to know. At any rate 
Several meetings were held to discuss the matter and, on his return, 
the Bishop's representative was able to report a favorable adjustment, 
which was forthwith sanctioned by the prelate. We learn these details 
from a letter of the Bishop to the Trustees, copied by Father Peyretti 
on the reverse of the title-page of the Register of Baptisms for the 
Whites, commenced on December 12, 1824, by the new pastor. The 
copy bears no date, and the Bishop's signature is omitted. 

To the President and Trustees 

of the parish of St. John the Evangelist of 


Gentlemen : 

I received a week ago the deliberation which you addressed to me 
concerning the maintenance of the Pastor whom you asked me to send 
you. Father De la Croix, on his return from your place, has brought 
me a new decision to which I am all the more pleased to assent, because 
it is precisely the one I myself had proposed, namely: a fixed sum of 
six hundred dollars per year payable quarterly in advance, plus the por- 
tion of the casucl according to the rate presented to you by Father De 
la Croix, which I approve in its every part. 

Accordingly I hasten now to advise you that I have just appointed 
the Rev. Mr. Peyretti pastor of your parish. I trust that you will find 
in him all the qualities capable to insure your confidence, and I do not 
doubt but that he will find in your influence with the parishioners all 
the moral support which he may need in the beginning of his ministry. 
I trust likewise in your zeal to furnish him the means of securing 
a suitable and decent establishment. 

The Rev. Laurence Peyretti, thus introduced to the Trustees as 
the new pastor of Vermillionville, in contrast to his predecessor, was 
a very young man, born at Carignan, in the Diocese of Turin, Pied- 
mont, the 22nd of September 1799. He had almost completed his 
course of theology in his native country, and received Tonsure and 
Minor Orders *^ when he met at Turin Father A. Inglesi, a priest of 
the Diocese of New Orleans then in Europe for the interest of the 
Louisiana Mission. He volunteered his services. A few months later, 
on the 8th of May, 1822, he was sailing from Havre for America with 
Messrs. Eugene Michaud, then in Deacon's orders,** John Mary Odin*^ 

43. At Turin, April 21, 1821. 

44. Michaud was ordained to the priesthood at St. Louis, September 22, 1822, and, 
after remaining some time at that place as a teacher in the College established by Bishop 
Du Bourg, was, after the suppression of that institution, called to lower Louisiana, where 
we find him visiting Grand Coteau on the 7th of October 1824. He was for a long time 
pastor of St. Gabriel's, Iberville, La. 

45. Joined the Congregation of the Mission the 8th of November 1822, was ordained 
priest on May 4, 1823 and exercised the holy ministry in Missouri until 1840, when he 
was sent to Texas as Prefect Apostolic, a title which was shortly after changed into that 
of Vicar Apostolic, and later on (1847) of Bishop of Galveston. In 1860 he was trans- 
ferred to the Archbishopric of New Orleans. He died in the last days of May 1870 in 
his native town, Ambierle, France, where he had gone when sickness obliged him to leave 
the Council of the Vatican. 


and Jonh Audizio/^ subdeacons, J. B. Blanc*' and John Carretta/^ 
clerics. Landing in New Orleans, July 11, 1822, he, soon after, went 
up to the Barrens, Mo., with his companions, was made Subdeacon at 
Ste. Genevieve, Mo., on October 12, and finishing his theological course 
under Father Rosati at St. Mary's Seminary, Perryville, Mo., was, 
the next year, called South by Bishop Du Bourg who ordained him, 
January 8, 1824. 

He had scarcely ben installed in the parish of which he was to 
be the pastor for well-nigh sixteen years, when the authorities at Ver- 
million decided to relinquish the old name and adopt for the town as 
well as for the parish the new designation of Lafayette. The whole 
country was then running wild with enthusiasm for the general who, 
in his youthful days, had fought side by side with George Washington 
for American Independence and had, late in the summer 1824, landed 
on our shores. The Marquis was never to see VermilHonville ; still 
Vermillionville did not wish to lag behind in paying him its tribute of 
admiration and gratitude: the means adopted was to name the parish 
and to re-name the town after him.*''. The new name appears for the 
first time, timidly enough, it would seem, on the church Registers in 
an entry of January 9, 1825: "Parish of Lafayette at Vermillion- 
ville". ^° 

But "What's in a name?" might well Father Peyretti say: for to 
him Lafayette must have looked as unpromising as Vermillionville. 
The first impressions of the new pastor, indeed, were anything but 
encouraging. "Out of four thousand and more souls, whose care was 
kindly entrusted to me, unworthy though I am, by Bishop Du Bourg," 
he wrote sometime later to Bishop Rosati,^^ "the first year (1825) I 
had only forty-tzvo paschal confessions." Things, however, gradually 
improved: for the next year (1826) he could report 129 paschal con- 
fessions ; and at the time of his writing, March 25, 1827, the paschal 
season being yet far from its close, he counted already 164 confessions, 

46. Born at Orbazzano, in the Diocese of Turin, Piedmont, October 18, 1798. Had 
received at Turin Tonsure and Minor Orders (April 7, 1821) and Subdeaconship (Decem- 
ber 22, 1821) when Father Inglesi enlisted him for the American Mission. He was or- 
dained at the Barrens, with Fattier Odin, on May 4, 1823. He was then called to St. Louis, 
where for some time he attended Vide-Poche (Carondelet) ; then he was appointed to 
Grand Coteau (June 30, 1826) where he could not remain. 

47. Brother of Father Anthony Blanc, then in charge of the parish of Pointe-Coupee 
and later Bishop (1835 — 1850) and first Archbishop (1850 — 1860) of New Orleans. J. B. 
Blanc was born at Sury, Loire, France, February 7, 1880. He was pursuing his ecclesias- 
tical studies in the Seminary of Lyons and had received Tonsure and Minor Orders (June 
17, 1821) when he decided to follow his brother to America. After some time spent in 
the Seminary at the Barrens to complete his course and learn English, he was called 
south by Bishop Du Bourg, who ordained him to priesthood on October 24, 1823, in the 
church of Donaldsonville. First he was assistant to his brother at Pointe-CoupSe, attend- 
ing also Baton-Rouge; later on he was for a number of years pastor of Natchitoches, where 
he died in 1836. 

48. Was, like Audizio, a native of Orbazzano in Piedmont (b. November S, 1797). 
After completing his studies at the Barrens, he was called by Bishop Du Bourg to Louis- 
iana, where he labored for a number of years in various positions. Later on he returned 
to Europe. 

49. At least, in the absence of positive information, the coincidence of dates suggests 
naturally enough this explanation. 

50. It took a long time, however, for the new name to become of general use: letters 
written by Father M^gret to Bishop Blanc, late in the forties, are still dated — we suppose 
he followed the common parlance — from 'Vermillionville.' 

51. March 25, 1827. Original in Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. 


exclusive of those of the first communicants. Well could he add more 
cheerfully : "Although I do everything in my power to bring them back 
to the right path, still there are always some who go astray; but a 
great change has already been wrought. . . . There is, therefore, reason 
to hope that God will touch their hearts," One of the banes which he 
had most strenuously to contend with was that of churchless marriages. 
"In my parish," he remarks in the same letter, "over against twenty- 
five to thirty marriages which I perform in a year, there are at least 
twelve made before the Judge. It is true that the persons who do so 
have neither faith nor religion." 

A glimpse of the condition of the church, three years after Father 
Peyretti's arrival, is afforded us by the Act of Episcopal Visitation 
made by Bishop Rosati, Bishop of St. Louis and Administrator of the 
Diocese of New Orleans : ^^ 

Joseph Rosati, of the Congregation of the Mission, by the grace of 
God and the Holy Apostohc See, Bishop of St. Louis and Administrator 
of New Orleans. 

We, in fulfillment of the duties of our ofifice, repairing to the 
parish of St. John of Vermillion-ville, have, on the i6th of the month 
of February, 1823, visited the church and the sacristy, as also the Reg- 
isters of said parish. Having carefully examined everything, w^e deem 
it necessary to make the following recommendations : 

1. There should be constructed a Baptismal Fount, wherein are to 
be kept decently and under lock and key, the water blessed at the days 
appointed by the ordinances and canons of the Church for the Adminis- 
tration of the Sacrament of Baptism, the Holy Oils, together with 
whatever is necessary for the ceremonies demanded at this occasion by 
the Ritual. This Baptismal Fount must be enclosed by a railing, to 
the inside of which a little sink shall be made, wherein the water used 
in the conferring of Baptism ought to be poured out. 

2. It is in the interest of the inhabitants of the parish to have 
books solidly leather-bound to serve as Registers for Baptisms, Mar- 
riages and Funerals, — as the books actually in use are liable to fall into 
pieces, and thus expose the precious records which they contain to the 
danger of being lost. A fourth Book must be procured to keep record 
of Confirmations. 

3. The respect due to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and to the 
Sacrament of Holy Eucharist demands that the altar should not be left 
exposed to the view and disrespect of the persons walking along the 
street which leads directly to the church door. A curtain hanging be- 
tween the two posts at the entrance of the church would hide the altar 
from view without preventing the circulation of air. 

4. The linen destined to receive the Body of our Lord during the 
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ought to be always perfectly clean; theie 
should be enough of them to allow them to be frequently washed and 
changed. At least six more corporals should be on hand. 

5. There should be a little credence in the sanctuary to hold what- 
ever is necessary for the service of the altar. 

52. Bishop Du Bourg departed from New Orleans in 1826, after Easter, and sailed 
from New York on June 1, leaving the administration of the Diocese to Bishop Rosati, 
his Coadjutor. The very day the prelate landed at Havre. June 2, Pope Leo XII approved 
the decisions of the meeting of Propaganda held on June 26, accepting Bishop Du Bourg's 
resignation, and dividing the so-called Diocese of Louisiana into the two Bishoprics of New 
Orleans and St. Louis. Bishop Rosati, urged to choose for himself the See of New Or- 
leans, demurred; by Pontifical Brief of May 20, 1827, he was appointed to St. Louis, and 
made Administrator of New Orleans, pending the nomination of a Bishop for the latter 
Diocese. Bishop De Neckere's appointment was not made until August 4, 1829, and his 
consecration took place only on June 24 of the following year. 


6. As one of the primary objects of the Catholic worship is the 
Holy Sacrament of the Altar, it would be most desirable that the Mar- 
guillers buy an Ostensorium for the exposition of the Blessed Sacra- 
ment during the year and especially at the feast of Corpus Chritsi. 

Being perfectly aware of the difficulties wherewith the Fabrique is 
at present confronted, we abstain from pointing out any other objects 
which, most useful though they be for the decency and stateliness of 
worship, yet are not indispensably required as those which are men- 
tioned above. We trust in the piety and religion of the Trustees and 
of the inhabitants, and hope they shall not fail to make even extra- 
ordinary efforts in order to provide for the stateliness and decency of 
the divine service. 

Given at the Rectory of the parish of St. John of Vermillion-ville, 
the i6th of the month of February, 1828. 

►J- Joseph 
Bishop of St. Louis and Adm. of N. Orl.^^ 

The next day, Quinquagesima Sunday, had been appointed for 
Confirmation of the candidates belonging to the parish — the first Con- 
firmation ever held in Lafayette. As may well be believed, the good 
people of the neighborhood — and others, too, since we have been told 
there were some — were most anxious to see — quite a novel sight to 
most of them — a Bishop. No wonder, then, they turned out in great 
numbers for the High Mass : the affluence of people must have been, 
that Sunday, particularly large, for the Bishop makes it the object of 
a special remark in his Diary. Twenty-seven persons were confirmed 
on that day ; and two more, a young man and a girl, the next morning 
after Mass. 

The reader has not failed to remark, in the document cited above, 
the demands made on the Marguillers for the decency of the church 
and of the services. Had they been remiss in their duty? It were 
rash to assert it. Rather were they unawares of the requisite appoint- 
ments of a parish church, and unwilling to spend money on things, 
the necessity of which they did not perceive. However this may be, 
certain it is that, a few months later. Father Peyretti had to complain 
of their neglect in fulfilling the promises made a little over three years 
before to Bishop Du Bourg. Indeed it is but too true that the history 
of St. John's parish, could the minutes of the proceedings of the 
Trustees be found in their entirety, and had we the complete series 
of the pastors' official letters, would seem to be centered in a continu- 
ous friction between the rectors and the chosen representatives of the 
parishioners. Be this as it may, if the prologue of this little drama 
may be detected in the letter of Bishop Du Bourg cited above, the 
opening scene is recited in a communication of Father Peyretti to 
Bishop Rosati, four months after the latter's visit. This document 
speaks for itself. ®* 

Parish of Lafayette, Vermillionville, June 14, 1828. 
Right Reverend Bishop: 

I find myself in some very disagreeable embarrassment. I haive 
been, and am daily sacrificing myself for my ungrateful parishioners: 

Register of Baptisms. 

Original in Archives of S'f. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. 


I had made the sacrifice of drawing $250.00 from the bank to meet 
debts contracted for the church (of which some still remain outstand- 
ing), in order to give satisfaction to my parishioners, as I saw the 
church in debt. When elections of Trustees were made recently, these, 
instead of manifesting any gratitude to me for the money I had spent 
for the church and the rectory, which, according to the conventions 
made by Bishop Du Bourg, they should have decently furnished when 
I came to this parish, not only have not done anything of the kind, but, 
moreover, want to take away from me the $200.00 regularly coming to 
me, according to the regulation made two years ago by rhe preceding 
Board of Trustees, stating that they should take all the casuel for 
$400.00 that I left them. To this I have refused to assent: 1° because, 
if this be done, I have not enough to live on, because the inhabitants do 
not pay; and 2° there are already on this head $100.00 coming to me 
for the half year just elapsed. 

I beg you earnestly, Dear Bishop, to write to them sternly on this 
subject, and to me also, if you please, in order that I may know what 
to do. 

I deem it most unjust, Dear Bishop, that I should be expected to 
pay alone all the debts of the church, these debts having been contracted 
by the inhabitants before I came here ; whereas, since I have been in 
the parish, I have not made any debts on the account of the church : 
quite the contrary, I have always advanced the mioney, both for the 
church and the rectory, although they were obliged to do so. 

I beseech you. My Lord, to answer as soon as possible. 

I am respectfully. Dear Bishop, 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

L. PEyrETTi, Pastor. 

Bishop Rosati's Diary informs us that this letter reached him at 
the Barrens on July 30, and was answered two days later, August 1 ; 
but no hint whatever is given of the contents of his answer. How- 
ever, since the Diary, which always mentions scrupulously all letters 
received and written, records no letter addressed, as Father Peyretti 
suggested, to the Marguillers of St. John's church, we may regard it 
well-nigh certain that the prelate deemed his communication to the 
pastor quite sufficient. No further complaint, moreover, having reached 
the Administrator until the time of the accession of Bishop De Neckere, 
we will take it for granted that the difference was amicably settled. 

If Bishop De Neckere (1830-1833) made the canonical visitation 
of the parish — he made that of Opelousas on Augttst 25, 1831, and we 
know that he was again in the neighborhood, at Grand Coteau, Sept- 
ember 29, 1832, — he wrote no ordinances in the customary place, the 
Baptism Register. Neither did Bishop Anthony Blanc (1835-1860) 
at his first visit, of the exact date of which even there is no record. 
We know of it only through an allusion in the regulations drawn up 
at his second visit. As he was at Grand Coteau on July 31, 1837, for 
the laying of the corner-stone of St. Charles College, and again, 
November 2, of the same year, for the canonical visitation of the 
church, it may be surmised that he came to Lafayette just before or 
after either date, preferably the latter. The Jesuits had just taken 
charge (April 17) of the parish of St. Charles, and, in order to avoid 
all possibility of conflicts of jurisdiction with his neighbors either of 
Opelousas, or St, Martinsville or Lafayette, the Pastor, Father Peter Die 


Vos had the limits of the parish, as fixed by Bishop Du Bourg in 1821 
and 1822, sanctioned by the present Ordinary. Accordingly, under a 
copy of Bishop Du Bourg's two decrees we find there few lines : ^^ 

On the 2nd of November 1837, at the close of our first pastoral visi- 
tation, the Rev. P. De Vos, pastor approved by Us, with the consent of 
■his Superiors, for the ecclesiastical parish of St. Charles, Grand Coteau, 
having communicated to Us the two excerpts above written, in order 
that we may approve them, we hereby declare them conform with the 
originals which are before our eyes, and maintain the lines of demarca- 
tion assigned to said ecclesiastical parish, until we deem it proper to 
make alterations therein. 

Given at the Rectory of St. Charles, on the above day and year, 

4- Ant., Bp. of N. Orleans. 

Bishop Blanc made his second Episcopal visitation at Lafayette 
on October 14, 1838,^^ He seems to have been delighted by much of 
what he saw there. He compliments the parishioners on their piety 
and comments very flatteringly on the numerous concourse of people 
assembled for the occasion. The parish, he remarks, is too extensive, 
and the number of faithful too large for one priest : he proposes there- 
fore to send an assistant. Passing then from great subjects to smaller 
ones, he finds no praise is merited for the way altar linen are taken 
care of; and still less for the cleanliness (or lack of it) of the sacristy 
which, he complains, is made a dumping place for all kinds of things 
in no way related to the church. The pastor, we may well think, could 
take his share of these strictures ; to him alone went those of the next 
paragraph, where the Bishop regretted that the church Registers were 
not kept with all desirable care. 

From this document we may judge that some little progress had 
been made since Bishop Rosati's visitation. True, this progress did 
not extend to the altar clothes ; his lament over the sad fate awaiting 
the existing parish Books was still unheeded, and his ordinance in 
regard to the Register of Confirmations yet remained, and was to 
remain a long while, dead letter. He, too, like Bishop Blanc, had 
commented with great satisfaction on the large concourse of people; 
but that, in 1838, much larger crowds flocked to the church is borne 
out by the prelate's reflection on the advisability of giving an assist- 
ant to the pastor. Had the Bishop miscalculated the numbers of his 
clergy, and did he find himself unable to fulfill his quasi-promise ; 
or was there any difficulty about the maintenance of an assistant? 
At any rate, no trace whatever is to be found of the execution of this 

Father Peyretti remained in Lafayette only eighteen months after 
Bishop Blanc's second visit. Early in the spring of 1840, he asked for 
his change and obtained it. What catises prompted this step on his 
part, we are not told either by him or by the Bishop. In a verbose 
letter written to the latter by Father Billon, we hear that a "bully" 

65. Catholic Archives of America, University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Case: Arch- 
bishops and Bishops of New Orleans. 

56. The Act is found p. 100 of the Baptism Register. 


of Lafayette bragged insolently of having ruled the parish, and evi- 
dently the pastor, in Father Peyretti's time. But even if this fan- 
faronnade were true, that would be no reason for the pastor to ask 
for a change, if he was satisfied to be led by the nose. Nor should 
we see in certain expressions of the document appointing Father Pey- 
retti's successor a censure of the former's administration : these ex- 
pressions belong to the protocol of such administrative Acts. Indeed, 
had Father Peyretti's change meant a disfavor, how could be have 
been allowed to stay over a month in Lafayette after his departure 
was decreed ? Yet so he did, still signing himself, until the arrival of 
Father Billon (May 6, 1840), "Peyretti, Cure"; after that date, at 
the Baptism of Clebert ( ? ! — of course that was meant for Kleber, in 
honor of the famous French general) Thibodeaux, on May 12, he calls 
himself simply "pretre missionaire". 

Anthony Blanc, by the grace of God and the authority of the 
Apostolic See Bishop of New Orleans: to all those who shall peruse 
the presents, health and our blessing in the Lord Jesus. 

Whereas the Rev. Laurence Peyretti has obtained from us leave to 
resign the pastorship of the Church of St. John the Evangelist, it is 
the duty of our pastoral vigilance to see that shepherds who are true 
lovers of the flock, and no wolves, should be appointed to tend it; 
accordingly, we, by the presents, institute the Rev. Peter Francis 
Beauprez rector of the aforesaid church of St. John the Evangelist in 
the civil parish of Lafayette, recommending earnestly to the faithful 
of that parish to give him the obedience due to a pious chief, in all 
things particularly which appertain to the spiritual order. 

Given at New Orleans, in our Episcopal residence, under our hand 
and seal, the 6th day of April of the year 1840. 

►J* Ant., Bp. of Nezv Orleans. ^^ 

The above letter introduces to us the third resident pastor of 
Lafayette. Unlike his predecessor who, it will be remembered, had 
come to Vermillionville only a few months after his ordination, Fa- 
ther Beauprez had already nine years of experience in the missions. 
A Belgian by birth, he had come to America in 1829, and after two 
years in the Seminary at the Barrens, with the oil of ordination still 
fresh on his hands (he was ordained at the Barrens on November 28, 
1831), had been sent with Father Edmond Saulnier to the difficult 
mission of Arkansas Post.^^ After a little less than a year, however, 
incompatibility of humor between the Gascon and the Belgian — judg- 
ing from the complaints of each against the other in their letters to 
Rosati,^^ their squabbles were true tempests in a teapot, — exasperated 
by the hardships they had to endure and, in the case of Beauprez, by 
illness, drove them both out of Arkansas. On October 25, 1832, Fa- 
ther Beauprez took the boat for Donaldsonville, whence, a few weeks 
later, he repaired, according to the Bishop's orders, to the Seminary at 

67. Archives of New Orleans Archdioc. Chancery. 

58. See F. G. Holweck: Beginnings of the chi<rch in Little Rock, in The Catholic 
Historical Review, Vol. VI, No. 2, July 1920, pp. 156 — 171; The Arkansas Mission under 
Rcsati. in St. Louis Catholic Historical Review, Vol. I, No. 4— S, July-October 1919, pp. 

69. In the Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. 


the Barrens. It had been Rosati's intention to send him to Apple 
Creek, in Perry County, Mo., where the knowledge of German was 
needed; instead, he returned South, with the understanding that he 
was only loaned to the Diocese of New Orleans : "As soon as Msgr. 
De Necicere sends Mr. Brassac®" to Donaldson," the Bishop wrote on 
August 6, 1833, "please come back to St. Louis." He did come back, 
and the prelate found him there when he reached home from the 
Council of Baltimore, December 11; and we find him assisting the 
Bishop as Deacon at the two Pontifical Masses sung in the cathedral 
on Christmas Day. The last day of the year, Rosati writes in his Diary 
that he had in mind to appoint Father Beauprez assistant to Father 
Bouiller at Old Mines, Mo. ; however, the same Diary marks his pres- 
ence at the cathedral rectory for a number of weeks. The next time 
Ave hear of him, he was at Baton Rouge (1834-1838), and had been 
transferred for good to the Diocese of New Orleans. In 1838 he went 
to Europe, where his former neighbor of Donaldsonville, Father 
Brassac, who himself had returned there, met him, some time in July 
1839, "two days after leaving Paris, with carpet-bag in his arms, 
alighting from the stage-coach ; he had made up his mind to return 
to Louisiana and would probably sail on the Great Western." ^^ 

Father Beauprez' stay at Lafayette was only of some eighteen 
months ; and all that we hear of as worth mentioning during that 
period is of another visit of Bishop Blanc,^' the exact date of which 
cannot be ascertained, although this visit appears to be connected with 
the somewhat hurried (it seems) departure of the pastor. A letter 
written a few months later, March 11, 1842, by Father Megret aUudes 
in terms which at this distance are not altogether clear, but must have 
been transparent for the prelate, to Father Beauprez having contracted 
debts which stirred up something like a scandal in the parish. Father 
Jamey^3 likewise, refers to some imprudences and to financial difficul- 
ties which the pastor of Vermillionville had entangled himself in. Be 
this as it may, from another letter of Father Billon^* we may gather 
another reason for the Bishop's visit. Says Father Billon : 

I need not tell you in what condition I found my poor church and 
the Rectory yard. Father Jamey gave you on this subject all the desir- 
able information. But you are perhaps expecting that something has 
been done, and that the repairs are under way. Nothing of the kind 
has come to pass, and there does not seem to be any likelihood of an 
early start. When you talk to the Trustees, they at the time promise 
you all that you wish ; but as soon as you leave them, they at once for- 
get their promises and execute nothing. 

The Rev. Joseph Billon arrived at Lafayette December 3, 1841 ;" 

60. Who was returning from Europe. 

61. Brassac to Bishop Purcell. Archives of the Sisters of Charity of Mount St. Jo- 
seph on the Ohio. See The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. II, No. 4, January 1918, pp. 

62. Register of Baptisms, p. 217. 

63. Rector of St. Martinsville; was Vicar General. 

64. Archives of New Orleans Archdioc. Chancery. 

65. Billon to Bishop Blanc, December 15, 1841. Archives of New Orleans Archdioc. 
Chancery. - 


apparently he had come but recently from France, and his first letters 
to Bishop Blanc betray an amusing dose of youthful nmvete which 
might easily be mistaken for childish vanity. Let us Hsten to his first 
contact with his parishioners : 

The short time I have been in this parish offers nothing worthy 
of mention. I heard the confession of- a stranger to the parish and of 
six children preparing for first communion. I have preached so far 
only one instruction, on the love of God, and it drew^ tears from my 
congregation. Everybody was well pleased with it and says I am a 
good preacher. One thing which contributed not a little to extol my 
merit in the eyes of the people, is that they imagine I talked extempore, 
because I had announced that Father Jamey (who was to come about 
that time for a new meeting of the Marguillers) was to preach, and 
they had flocked in great numbers to listen to a Vicar General, a man 
who enjoys an enviable reputation. When it was known that it was the 
pastor who had preached, some ladies went to the house where I am 
boarding, to inquire whether I was to stay long in the parish (for cer- 
tain rumors were circulating that I was to remain only until after 
Christmas). As my landlady answered that I would remain long if I 
was not spoken ill of, "Who in the world," they replied, could speak 
ill of a man that preaches so well?" 

He met other glorious experiences at the outset, of which we 
must hear from himself the artless recital, albeit it is somewhat 
wordy : 

There is a man in the parish, whose name is Bonlacoste, acting as 
private tutor in the house of Mr. Edmond Mouton,^^ the sheriff. This 
man had made up his mind to vex me in every way. He is a most dan- 
gerous man, who has caused a great deal of harm to religion. He 
claims he was at one time Archbishop of Constantinople; but having 
recognized religion to be of no use, he unfrocked himself ; he pretends 
nevertheless to receive a pension of fifty cents a day. He whispers in 
the ears of the people that all the ecclesiastics who come to this country 
are bad priests, who are under an inderdict, and suspended; that he 
knows more than they all. To myself he boasted to have run the parish 
at the time of Father Peyretti who, he said, was his cousin. He wished 
likewise to give me some advice for the government of the parish, and 
this the very first day that he came to see me, which was the morrow 
after my arrival. I merely listened to him, without replying anything. 
I was in the most perplexing position, because I knew not whether it 
were wiser to keep silence or to reply. Two days later he came again 
to town, and entered into the house where I am boarding, in order to 
have, he said, the pleasure to take dinner with the pastor. I must tell 
you that he used publicly to hurl the vilest msults at Frs. Beauprez and 
Peyretti ; and undoubtedly this pleasure it was which he sought to have 
with the new pastor who appeared to him so meek two days before. 
Unfortunately the said pastor was away: he had gone to Grand Coteau. 
Was the pleasure so much anticipated to be lost? No. Chance, or rather 
Providence led me unaware to the house where he lives. As I was 
coming back at night from Grand Coteau, I lost my way and was com- 
pelled to go and ask the hospitality of that house. What a joy for the 
fellow to see the pastor in a house where there happened to be, that day, 
quite a numerous company! So he did not tarry long before engaging 
the conversation. But Almighty God put His speech in my mouth: for 
at every word I confounded him publicly, and for the space of nearly 

66. Son of Jean Baptiste Mouton (fils) and Marie Angele Martin; was therefore the 
grandson of Jean Mouton, Sr., mentioned in n. 18. 


an hour that we yet remained in the room before retiring, he did not 
utter a single word. So last Sunday, when he came to town, he did 
not say he wanted to have the pleasure to take dinner with the pastor; 
and though he had his horse in the yard of Chavrier, with whom I am 
boarding, he took his horse quietly, and even had his handkerchief, 
which he had left in the house, brought to him outside and did not 
want to come in, because the pastor was in taking his dinner. 

Evidently young Father Billon, although he claimed to write this 
"without pride or humility," did not entertain a bad opinion of himself 
as a controversialist. His successes, however, were short-lived. After 
only a few weeks, he fell sick (he acquaints the Bishop with all the 
details of his illness with the same childish naivete with which he had 
narrated his exploits). Whether ill-health soured his temper, or he 
was naturally unsympathetic to his parishioners, at all events, in 
March 1842, Father M^gret, who was perhaps not altogether a dis- 
interested judge, declared that "good Father Billon is as unsuited for 
the government of a parish as he is for the running of a house. He 
has estranged from himself all the persons with whom he had dealings. 
Unaffable, uncondescending, unpolished, his stern virtue resembles too 
much the rough, thick and tight bark of certain trees, which prevents 
the sap from going up the trunk, and from the trunk to the branches, 
blights them and dries them up." ^^ 

Bishop Blanc must have heard reports that all was not well at 
Vermillionville. He sent Father Megret, recently from France, to 
make inquiries and persuade Father Billon to resign. The conclusion 
of Megret's report was that he "considered the removal of Father 
Billon necessary for the good of the parish of Lafayette." We may 
perhaps regard the colors of Billon's picture too dark, as, all his pro- 
tests to the contrary notwithstanding, Father Megret's judgment ap- 
pears to be warped by his expectation of remaining in the parish : for 
it seems that the Bishop, in sending him to Lafayette, hinted at the 
possibility of his becoming Billon's successor, "For many years," he 
added rather severely, "there has been exercized in this parish a 
ministry of dieath. There should be here a priest disinterested, exact 
in fulfilling his duties, of sterling virtue and with an amiable disposi- 
tion capable to win esteem and confidence." With the proper dose of 
diplomatic humility he disclaimed to possess all these qualifications ; 
meanwhile he nevertheless "considered himself pastor ad interim". 

Father Billon was not aware of the commission given to Megret 
by the Bishop and was apparently under the impression that the new- 
comer had been sent merely to assist him. He therefore resented very 
keenly his interference and accused him of stirring up in the parish 
a coterie to work up his appointment."^® After much dilly-dallying, 
however, on the advice of Father Jamey, he agreed to depart for New 
Orleans, leaving Father Megret in indisputed possession of the field. 
* * * 

67. Megret to Bishop Blanc, March 11, 1842. Archives of New Orleans Archdioc. 

68. Billon to Bishop Blanc. Vermillionville, March 22, 1842. Ibid. 


Of all the early pastors in charge of Lafayette, Father A. D. 
Megret is certainly the one who left the deepest impression on the 
parish : his name is still remembered, even though nearly seventy 
printers have passed over his tomb. This is due, in part, to the impetus 
he gave to the life of the parish ; in part also, be it said unhesitatingly, 
to his strong personality. He was a born fighter: he had fought in 
his younger days, the battles of the Avenir under the leadership of 
Lamennais ; in Louisiana his ministry was almost a continuous battle ; 
sometimes a more courteous, though always in good earnest, pass-of- 
arms, as with the Jesuits of Grand Coteau; but most of the time a 
fight to a finish, as with his Trustees. 

Hardly had he taken possession of the parish, when he became 
involved in a controversy with his Marguillers. It is a great pity that 
the minutes of the meetings of that body have almost disappeared; 
but their deficiency is supplied in part®^ by the Parish Registers, where 
Father Megret ventilated at ease his feelings, and by what is extant of 
his correspondence with Bishop Blanc. 

Let it be remembered here that the Trustees, or Marguillers, as 
they were called in French, were chosen by the pew-holders. Un- 
fortunately their elections, as many elections are, were often the result 
of influence or intrigue, the work of a ring rather than a truly free 
choice for the best interests of the church. Hence piety and practical 
Catholicity were not always the distinguishing traits of the Trustees 
elected: thus we see, for instance, at the New Orleans cathedral in 
1843, as president of the Board of Trustees, tlie Grand Master of a 
Lodge of Freemasons. 

If we believe Father Megret, things were almost as bad at La- 
fayette. That between such men and the pastor controversies, nay 
even struggles should arise, was unavoidable. The story of the battle 
royal which took place may be told, we trust, now that the smoke and 
dust it aroused have long since vanished into the blue skies. We shall 
do it, using mostly Father Megret's own accounts, — which does not 
mean that his appreciation of his opponents should be endorsed always 
unreservedly, and still less that the errors and wrongs committed by 
the fathers should be, by anyone living under the Law of grace, 
"visited upon their children unto the third and fourth generation." 

The sad comments of Father Billon on the sorry condition of the 
church and rectory when he came to Lafayette have not been for- 
gotten. Nor must his reflection on the Trustees quick to promise and 
never executing, be lost sight of. A few days before leaving the parish 
he reported: "A new fence was begun a month or so ago. But after 
fencing in about one-third of my yard and one-half of the cemetery 
the contractors stopped the work ; and now they have been idle for a 
fortnight. How long will they continue in their slumbers, I know 
not." ^^ 

69. We say: in part, because the deficiency we are speaking of deprives us of the 
direct testimony of one of the contestants. 

TO. Billon to Bishop Blanc. Vermillionville, March 10, 1842. Ibid. 


In that unsatisfactory condition, evidently resulting from ill-will, 
things remained for a short while. Other and more important matters 
soon overshadowed this, however, in particular tlie ever-recurring 
question of the remuneration of the Pastor. In a visit made to Ver- 
millionville some time in the spring, the Vicar General, Father Jamey, 
succeeded in making an arrangement with the Trustees. Bishop Blanc 
himself came shortly after, threatening to recall the pastor if the agree- 
ment was not lived up to. Now here is the sequel as told by Father 
Megret in a letter of August 17, 1842 : " 

If I am correctly informed by my good Marguillers, the Mouton 
family is determined on leaving no efforts mitried in order to do away 
with all that was settled and decreed by common consent with Mr. 
Jamey. I have advised the latter of this, and he has answered^- as I 
desired. But now an hypothesis which, I am afraid, some near day 
might become a reality, must be considered. I have with me only two 
of the Trustees ; two others are doubtful ; the other three belong to the 
"fam.ily of contradiction," and as its influence is great, it may happen 
that they outvote the good, and impose upon higher authority a hard 
and humiliating law; — ^at least I have reason to fear it. In this hypoth- 
esis, will this authority, which has laid down the existing conditions, 
yield before their pretensions? I do not believe it. Then, will it recall 
the pastor, as was threatened? Here, Right Reverend Sir, is the whole 
difficulty. It will be very hard on the parish to be deprived of pastor, 
all the more so, because the bulk of it is good; and I must say here 
that religion at Lafayette has already reported such a success, that I 
expect to see before the end of the year half of the inhabitants receive 
the sacraments. What should be done, therefore, in view of maintain- 
ing the pastor and making our Trustees submit to authority? Only one 
thing occurs to me. As long as the temporal affairs of the church of 
Vermillionville are in the hands of the congregation, the Moutons shall 
be the lords and masters thereof. They will never tolerate a priest, 
unless he bows down before them, and even then they will load him 
with contumely. Would it not be wise, therefore, to attempt new com- 

One would consist in proposing the total surrender of the rights 
and pretensions of the congregation into the hands of the Bishop ; in 
case of refusal, put the church under an interdict and let the pastor 
exercise his functions wherever he may deem more convenient in the 
parish; then build another church on a piece of ground belonging to 
the Bishop or his representative, and make it free forever from the 
vexations of a congregation whose most members are without religion 
and good faith. This solution alone seems capable of insuring a solid 
foundation to religion. — I have not mentioned this to Father Jamey, 
both because things have not yet come to this extremity, and because 
it is important for me, My Lord, to know your opinion on this point, 
and what your intentions would be, should the eventuality arise. 

As may be seen, so far there were only outpost skirmishes. We 
may notice in passing the glowing hopes which buoyed up the heart 
of the pastor in regard to the practice of religion in Lafayette. Pos- 
sibly, even probably, he was too optimistic in his expectations. Be it 
so : still practical Catholicity must have made great strides in Lafayette 
.since the day not so far distant when Father Peyretti reported forty- 
two paschal confessions. 

71. Ibid. 

72. Father Jamey's answer was written on August 11, 1842. 


In order to remedy both the yet too great neglect of religion and 
the antagonistic spirit of the leaders, it was necessary in Father Me- 
gret's eyes, to create a thorough Catholic atmosphere in the country. 
Catholic education he regarded as the only means to bring about this 
renovation. "It is religious education," he wrote, "which, as you 
know, My Lord, establishes religion in the hearts and develops the 
soul's inclination to virtue. The Jesuitesses^^ have set too high their 
rates for board and tuition : the middle class cannot profit by the 
advantage which accrues from their presence in this district. Would 
you approve of a religious Community devoted to secondary educa- 
tion, which might be established at the Cote Gelee, on the outskirts of 
the three parishes of St. Martin, New Iberia and Lafayette by the 
common agreement and instrumentality of the three pastors? My 
sister, in France, is at the head of a number of establishments of this 
kind, animated with the best spirit and doing an untold amount of 
good. To her Society, of which I am a member, I would be thinking 
of making an appeal, should you approve of it. — With regard to the 
boys, only four or five of the parish are at Grand Coteau, on account of 
the rates. The others are put in the care of teachers of little or no 
religion. Would you be pleased to see the sexton I am going to have, 
a man quite capable to teach, undertake the education of boys under 
my supervision?" 

These were, no doubt, excellent views and praiseworthy projects. 
W'e shall see, only a few years hence, the first of these projects realized 
by the establishment of the Academy of Mount Carmel ; as to the sec- 
ond, it was to be thwarted for many years, and when attempted in 
good earnest, long after Father Megret's death, it turned out a failure. 
It was reserved to our times to see it revived in a new form, that of a 
parochial school for boys which, though less ambitious than the former 
attempt and the original project, opens nevertheless a bright avenue of 
hope for the future. 

Father Megret's next letter to the Bishop, dated from St. Martins- 
ville, October 14, 1842, reports that skirmishing is continuing with a 
portion of the Board of Trustees. But during the next intervening 
weeks, the pastor, who had long since learned at the aggressive school 
of the Avenir the power of the press, unsheathed his long-slumbering 
pen to parry attacks which he regarded not so much as personal as 
against the Catholic priesthood at large. "Although I am most pleased 
with my parish," he wrote, "where, I think, all are unanimously in 
my favor, I am constantly at war with the Mouton family. They do 
not dare attack me openly, because they are afraid of me, as they are 
aware that everybody is for me ; but they pursue me in an underhand 
way, especially by means of their gang. The newspapers have already 
had three articles from me. I am now engaged in writing the fourth ; 
and I think I can see that my enemies, or rather enemies of the Cath- 
olic priesthood, for that is what they are attacking, are quite dismayed." 

73. He calls thus the Ladies of the S. Heart of Grand Coteau, apparently because they 
were under the direction of the Jesuits. 


Once he had quickened again to flame in his heart the ashes of 
the journalist, which might seem cold during the last ten years, but 
were smouldering, Father Megret could not stop half-way. Hence this 
letter of March 3, 1843 : '* 

There are a thousand and one things which I must submit to your 

The most important is the foundation of a newspaper. You know 
the diabolical spirit of the paper of Vermillionville, and how in the last 
six months or so it has never ceased to blaspheme religion, the priest- 
hood, the Jesuits and yourself. It is a breath of pestilence which spreads 
in my parish corruption and godlessness. 

Two young Frenchmen, the one twenty-five and the other twenty- 
eight years of age, both men of remarkable talent, were called, about 
two months ago, to the office of that paper, with a view to secure over 
me and over the whole country an unquestionable triumph. These two 
gentlemen came to see me almost at once, and quite frequently there- 
after: hence resulted sympathy for the same principles, pourparlers, an 
agreement, and finally a newspaper, religious, political, scientific and 
literary, whose every question shall be treated under the inspiration of 
Catholic principles. You shall receive shortlj^ its prospectus. 

This paper we have named L'Union, and the epigraph will be: God 
and Liberty. ^^ I will enter for one-third in the ownership and one- 
fourth in the benefits. I wished it to be so, because my fellow-workers, 
besides contributing as myself to the writing, will have, moreover, to 
do the printing. 

This undertaking requires no outlay of money for the printing and 
bids fair to be successful. Above all it holds out before me the per- 
spective of ridding the parish of an irreligious editor. 

Nothing shall be printed unless it has been examined by me, a thing 
which gives me all desirable security from the point of view of faith 
, and morals. Permit me now, Right Reverend Sir, to expect from Your 
Lordship the approbation without which nothing shall be done, as far 
as I am concerned : for it is clearly understood between us three that 
your wish is the sine qua non condition of the whole business. 

I was forgetting to call your attention upon the fact that, for rea- 
sons which you will undoubtedly appreciate, my name will not appear 
before the public. 

I am sending Le Creole to Father Rousselon. You have, no doubt, 
already read some of my articles, and understand the motives which 
prompt me to bring together religion and some of the principles of free- 
dom which are underlying the institutions of this country. I announced, 
as you may have seen, that I should treat fully in the near future the 
momentous question, whether the Legislature cannot pass a decision on 
the rights of the Marguillers. I am reserving for L'Union the treatment 
of this question and of many others of the same kind which will 
appear in succession. 

Hell seems to be let loose: already our local journalist has pub- 
lished the decision of the Supreme Court iti re Martin, and has seasoned 
it with such spicy reflections as you may imagine. If there is not around 
a paper to overcome the evil and silence ungodliness, these will lead 
religion a merry dance. 

Be not afraid, Right Reverend Bishop, that this undertaking might 
cause me to neglect the needs of my parish. It will not. This extra 
work is very little for me and it will do me good. That I may please 
you and our Divine Master is all my ambition. 

74. Ibid. 

76. This, it will be remembered, was the epigraph of Lamennais' famous paper, 



Did the Bishop hesitate to give his approval? It would seem so 
from a subsequent letter. At any rate we hear nowhere of L' Union 
having ever seen the light of day, and our search for a copy has 
proved fruitless. Le Creole, too, which had printed the articles of 
Father Megret, has so far escaped our investigations. We are unable, 
therefore, to appreciate Father M^gret's talent as a journalist and a 

Whilst his restless brains were revolving these plans, he did not 
by any means loose sight of the welfare of the parish. At the last 
visit of the Bishop in Lafayette, the prelate had again broached, at least 
in a private conversation, the subject of sending an assistant. Nothing 
could please more the pastor. Not indeed that he anticipated lighten- 
ing his burden by shifting part of it upon the assistant's shoulders; 
but two can do more work than one, and he saw enough work in the 
parish to keep the two busy. At once his plans were made : "Without 
changing anything in the rectory, I am fixing up the old abandoned 
kitchen, so that it may serve again its original purpose; and my in- 
tention is to fit up, in the little annex used now as kitchen, two rooms 
for an assistant, in order that I may receive him, whenever you deem 
it fit to send me one." 

Meanwhile he had inaugurated, in February of that year 1843, 
"a catechism class for colored people, both slave and free." Good as 
the work was in itself, and upright as his intentions certainly were, still 
this catechism class was the occasion of a further straining of his 
relations with the chairman of the Board of Trustees. "Although," 
he tells the Bishop,^^ "in announcing beforehand this exercise, I had 
given explanations capable of removing any suspicions, I could not 
escape the reproaches of the president of the Fabriquc, Emile Mouton. 
My answer was ready, for I had been expecting his observations. All 
the other parishioners with whom I talked on the subject, some Mar- 
guillers included, are well pleased with these exercises and send me 
their slaves." 

The ink was scarcely dry on Father Megret's letter when he found 
himself in open warfare with the majorit}- of his Marguillers. Here 
is how he details the events to the Bishop : ' ' 

Vermillionville, March 14, 1845. 
Right Reverend Bishop: 

I am compelled to lay before you certain painful incidents which 
would overwhelm me, did I not find my support in the confidence that 
you are so kind as to manifest towards me, and the consciousness that 
I have simply done my duty. 

You are long since conversant with the hostile pretentions of the 
high family of the Attakapas, whose yearnings for domination is not 
satisfied with political supremacy,^^ j^^t pretends likewise to control 
religion at Vermillionville. 

The president of the Board of Trustees had asked me several ques- 
tions calculated to ascertain my opinion on the consent of the Mar- 

76. March 4, 1943. Ibid. 

77. Ibid. 

78. An allusion to Governor .Alexander Mouton, who, however, was on good terms with 
Father Megret. 


guillers in the appointment of a pastor ; the necessity of the pastor 
being an American citizen in order that he may discharge his functions ; 
the difficulties of the times and the necessity to reduce the casiiel, and 
others of this kind. On the last rhentioned question I had written in 
August of last year to your Vicar General, Father Jamey, who answered 
me on the nth of the same month authorizing me to protest in his name 
against any decision contrary to what had been stipulated by him. 

For six months there had been no meeting of the Board of Trustees, 
owing to the absence of one or another of the members. At last it was 
the good pleasure of the chairman to choose his own time and to call 
the semi-annual meeting for Monday, March 13. All the members were 
present. Heretofore our sittings had been quiet and courteous; this 
one was stormy. Never was any question propounded with more 
audacity by the chairman, and retorted with greater contempt, I may 
even say, arrogance, on my part. The debate was on two different 
points. There was question first of an account which, as pastor, I had 
thought should not be submitted to the Board, because, as treasurer, I 
could not pay the difference; and, second, of reducing the casuel. With- 
out entering into any details, which the limits of a letter necessarily 
preclude, the chairman, unable to answer my arguments and even to 
keep up any longer his groundless wrangling, concluded with these 
words: "If you are not satisfied, you may pack your trunk!" I found 
nothing more to say. I took argument from the opposition of his own 
family; I declared myself independent of the authority of the Trustees, 
and subject only to my Bishop; and in conclusion I told him that if they 
did not stop their persecution of ecclesiastical authority in my person, 
I would indeed quit their tumble-down church and build another over 
which they would have no right, and into which they could never set 
foot as Marguillers. 

Only the family is antagonistic to me in the Board. All the other 
Trustees kept silence, and I was approved. The Board adjourned with- 
out any deliberation. We are to have another meeting on April 3, and 
I believe it will be less stormy, for the chairman gave offense to all 
the Board. 

Those of the Trustees who, following the chairman, pretended to 
undo as they pleased the stipulations agreed to with the Vicar General, 
were evidently in the wrong: for if it takes two to make an agreement, 
it must take two likewise to unmake it. In order fully to enlighten the 
Bishop as to what kind of Catholics were the men whom he was now 
in pitched battle with, Megret, returning on certain statements of his 
preceding letter, added : 

I know from unimpeachable sources that the impious assertions 
aired in our miserable newspaper were instigated and paid for by the 
family of which I am speaking ; lately again it was that family, hi 
collusion with a protestant in high position, that had the judgment of 
the Supreme Court inserted under the caption, An Important Decision. 
I cannot close this letter without informing Your Lordship that, as the 
members of that family gave all the possible publicity to this Decision 
of the Supreme Court the very week before our meeting. I deemed it 
my duty to deny last Sunday from the pulpit the broadsides hurled at 
the authority of the Church, by reading the paragraph of Le Propagateur. 

Of the meeting called on April 3 we have no account ; but it is 
certain that, even though a new storm did not break out, the skies 
remained overcast with ominous clouds. What incensed most the op- 
posing Marguillers against Father Megret was the stand taken by him 


in regard to their encroachments upon Church discipline. Matters 
came to a climax with lightning-like rapidity. What precipitated the 
crisis cannot be made out clearly at this distance ; neither do all agree 
as to what exactly happened. But a crisis there certainly was. 

On dit — this is the version of some old inhabitants — that a man 
of the parish died having emphatically refused to quit Freemasonry. 
Being, therefore, under a sentence of excommunication, he could not, 
according to Church law, be given ecclesiastical burial. But the 
majority of the Trustees had decided otherwise. The pastor was in- 
flexible in his refusal. Being threatened with bodily violence, should 
he persist in his opposition, he placed himself at the church door and 
dared the Marguillers to do their worst, telling them in unmistakable 
terms that they would have to pass over his body, ere they could 
accomplish their design. A scufifle ensued. In fact, on dit that he was 
stabbed in the left shoulder and clubbed with the butt of a pistol. Some 
old folks even aver that he had armed himself with a horse-pistol — 
a most unlikely thing. 

That the tale has been improved by much telling, would not be 
astonishing. We happen to have Father Megret's own fairly complete 
version of, beside several allusions to the incident : this version is 
quite at variance with that which we saw above. Had Father Megret 
been stabbed, however so slightly, he could not speak of the affair as 
an "almost bloody drama" ; no pistol in anybody's hand ; even no ob- 
durate Freemason's funeral.'^^ The affair apparently was more simple, 
although not less exciting. As he was in the street, with many people 
in sight, without the least provocation an infuriated ruffian came to 
him vomiting foul and slanderous insults, and gave him what appears 
to be a sound drubbing. The fellow, adds Father Megret, was related 
by marriage to the president of the Board of Trustees ; the slander 
had been prompted by one of the Marguillers ; and the chairman him- 
self, who witnessed the scene with much glee, was the instigator of 
the deed, for which $50,000 were paid. 

This little drama created a very serious situation. Unfortunately 
Bishop Blanc was away at the time — he had gone to the Council of 
Baltimore — and could not be consulted. The Vicar General, Father 
Rousselon, was notified of the facts and of the course of action forth- 
with determined upon by the pastor. No sooner, however, did the 

79. Some old inhabitants hold that the animosity of certain members of the Mouton 
family against Fr. Megret originated in Emile Mouton's insistence that all the members 
of the family should be buried gratis. — The real story of the pistol of Father MSgret, if 
we believe the report of a well informed survivor of these times, is quite different from 
the common On dit. One day.Cesaire Mouton. brother nf Emile and Edmond, aflame with 
indignation at the scandalous attitude of his brothers and their clique towards Fr. Megret 
(and perhaps fearing some foul deed against him), brought to the priest two loaded 
pistols, telling him he should make use of them, should the occasion arise. "But, my dear 
friend," said the priest, "your brother is the very man I should have to use them on." 
"No matter," replied Cf'saire. Some few years later, C<^saire died. As one day, William, 
his son, on coming of age, was at the courthouse to receive his inheritance, Fr. Megret, 
too, went there, and handed him the two loaded pistols, as he had received them from 
Ci^saire. "Here, my boy, is something that belongs to you: Yotir father had given me 
these to defend myself; thank God! I never needed them." "What do you want me to 
do with them. Father?" asked the young man. "What vou wish" was the reply. "Well, 
then, let us go and bury them at father's feet" said William. And so it was done before 
a few witnesses. 


Bishop return to New Orleans, than Father M egret, in a letter as long 
as the circumstances demanded, acquainted him with all the happen- 
ings at Vermillionville : 

Vermillionville, July 5, 1843. 
Right Reverend Dear Bishop: 

Father Rousselon mugt have told you what happened to me per- 
sonally and the resolutions which I had the honor of submitting to him. 
Now that Your Lordship is back home, I come to unfold befor« your 
eyes the role played by certain persons in this almost bloody drama. 

The Marguillers had always looked upon my being their treasurer 
with the greatest displeasure. They did everything to cause the failure 
of, and put obstacles to my every endeavor for the good of religion 
and of their church, to the extent of opposing themselves to the col- 
lections I had started, and casting ridicule upon all my actions. 

You remember, Right Reverend Bishop, my discussion with the 
chairman. I replied to him arrogantly; and although I am far from 
congratulating myself for doing so, because this is opposed to the prin- 
ciples of evangelical meekness, yet as I know what they are, I would 
do it again, I think, in the same circumstances; for that kind of men 
cannot be persuaded by reason — they have none; nor by meekness — I 
made a sad experiment of it; still less by religion — they are Freemasons 
who hate religion. Firmness alone inspires them respect. 

Well, they bore me a grudge, as was quite natural, since I had told 
them some unpalatable truths. In the midst of this quasi-struggle came 
the elections for the Board: the double-dealing of certain Marguillers 
has assured their success, and the disreputable means employed by them 
have maintained the authority in their hands. 

Now revenge should be taken from the pastor : he should be pub- 
licly humbled and thus forced to beg pardon. Hence his fustigation by 
the furious relative of the Moutons, who in this affair was but the in- 
strument of the faction from which he received, it is rumored, a reward 
of $50.00, and to which he gave much pleasure, for during the affray I 
saw with my own eyes the present chairman of the Board of Trustees, 
in the midst of a group at a distance, laughing to his heart's content 
over the scene. 

In the impossibility in which I was to have prompt recourse to the 
ecclesiastical Superiors, what was to be done? I thought it necessary 
to go down to the very root of the evil and make them feel the con- 
sequences of their godless principles. Contempt of the priesthood had 
been their prime mover : I resolved to show them that the priesthood 
which they despised was in the country the sole element of social and 
commercial life. Accordingly I stopped saying Mass on Sundays at 
Lafayette, and went to my Missions. What I foresaw has happened: 
the Marguillers have lost their popularity; the merchants are against 
them because, as nobody comes to town, there is no business; the good 
people are opposed to them because they are deprived of religious 

I received a few days ago about 9 p. m., a number of my good 
Catholics, who proposed to me to build a church wherever I wanted, 
which would belong to me. They are engaged now in recruiting some 
thirty inhabitants who altogether would put up a sum of three to four 
thousand dollars. I encouraged them very much in their project, although 
I told them I deemed it proper not to take a hand in it openly. Should 
it be realized, then the new church, as you see, shall be the work of the 
inhabitants of the parish and not that of the pastor. 

Now you ought to be informed. Dear Bishop, that the Trustees 
held a meeting on Thursday, June 29 I was present at their delibera- 
tions, but took no part in them. They undid all that their predecessors 


had done by common agreement with Father Jamey. They contemp- 
tuously set at naught in my presence your authority, answering they 
preferred to have no priest rather than to submit their authority as 
Marguillers to your own. I engaged them to write to you themselves, 
and lay before you the motives obliging them to follow a course differ- 
ent from their predecessors', and manifest to you their peaceful inten- 
tions. Their reply was a sneer directed to you; whereupon I gave them 
the set down which they deserved. 

They asked me whether I would say Mass the following Sunday in 
their church. "No," said I ; "and before I let you know my final deter- 
mination, I shall wait until the Bishop is back from his trip." 

To sum up, here is what I have in mind to do, if you approve of it. 
I had at first told Father Rousselon that I would propose to them to 
abandon the temporal administration of the parish. But their second 
meeting has taught me clearly that this step were useless, to say the 
least: for these men are Christians only in name, as they are human 
only in shape. It will be wiser to let the affair be settled by the parish- 
ioners themselves, and leave the Board of Trustees with all its preten- 
sions to die in its isolation. If you permit, I shall render my accounts, 
have them approved, keep with me in sound notes what is due to me 
in order that I may have no longer any financial dealings with these 
men. Then I will stay at home, and wait for them there. As they 
will no longer get anything from my ministry, they will have to 
acknowledge their mistake if they do not want their treasury to remain 

Father Jamey told me that your intention was, on your return, to 
establish the basis of a regulation between the Marguillers of the vari- 
ous parishes and the pastors. It is to be desired, My Lord, that your 
piety and wisdom may find out a means of reconciliation, whereby the 
two authorities may work hand in hand, and you and your pastors may 
be rid of the Trustees' tyranny, so that religion may be free in her 
temples. However, if all your parishes resemble Vermillionville, even 
in case this regulation be accepted by the Marguillers, the pastor shall 
not be a whit more free in his church or able to do more good than in 
the past, unless he is constantly at daggers drawn with certain indi- 
viduals whose good faith decreases according as their numbers increase. 
Your administration would not encounter so many difiiculties, the priest- 
hood would be more honored and religion less dependent, if all the 
churches were belonging to you. I understand perfectly that the pastor 
cannot be the sole administrator: changes which are indispensable, 
vacancies which occur, even absences make it impossible. But what 
could prevent you from appointing some good parishioners as Trustees, 
with the pastor as chairman? What prevents you from exacting a 
yearly account of their administration, from being regularly notified 
of the needs of your churches, and approving their expenditures on 
presentation of proper vouchers and budgets, as is done in France? 
Thus you have the high control over the temporal administration of all 
your churches ; all the transactions are in your name and by your author- 
ity. Such a change cannot be worked in one day, but you will obtain 
it gradually. 

As to me, before the end of the year I hope to have a church at 
Font-Perry and one here, and to be able to turn them over to you, with- 
out your spending a cent. In my opinion this is the only means to in- 
sure the peace of the pastor of Vermillionville. 

Be not afraid, Right Reverend Bishop, that I should engage myself 
beyond my means. For the present I have no debts, except 1o Father 
Jamey: and if I make him wait for his money, it is because he sold me 
much too dear. As for my servants, buying them is cheaper than pay- 
ing wages to others; it is a real benefit to me. I have the largest and 
most beautiful house at Vermillionville, four years to pay it without 


interest. Everything included, with its four lots, it will cost me $380.00. 
It is on these lots that I intend to build the new church. I enter into 
these details because Father Jamey may have mentioned all this to you. 

As to my newspaper, I am not at all anxious to have it, except that 
for the time being I deem it necessary for the good I may do in this 
place. When its usefulness is no longer evident to me, I will not say 
the same. In this regard Father Jamey does not share in my opinion, 
nor I in his — all men will always have their own peculiar ways. But 
you, Bishop, who unite with the Episcopal character the virtue of the 
first Apostles, are above all human petty preconceptions : this is why it 
is right that we should have recourse to your light and why I am await- 
ing your verdict regarding the course I should follow. Do tell me un- 
hesitatingly what you think, for 

I have the honor to be, with the most profound respect 
Your Lordship's 
Most humble, obedient and devoted servant, 

A. D. Megret. 

Evidently the situation at Lafayette was extremely tense. Three 
weeks later, as no answer was coming from New Orleans, Father 
Megret resolved to go himself to the Episcopal city, and started for 
St. Martinsville, where he expected to find a boat. There the advice 
of two of his brother-priests made him renounce his project ; but to 
the plan of action which he had determined to follow they gave their 
unqualified approval. The only difficulty which might be in the way 
concerned the intentions of the original donors and the eventual giv- 
ing up, in case the Trustees should refuse to let it go, of the cemetery 
so full of tender memories for the parishioners. This difficulty Megret 
declared to be non-existant, as the change was proposed and desired 
by all the inhabitants "except the Moutons and Co." All this he 
rehearsed in a letter written to the Bishop before returning home.^° 
Then, speaking of his relations with the Marguillers, he added : 

My being constantly on Missions abroad is an argument which con- 
founds them still more. They are at their wit's end. The Govemor^i 
paid me one of his first visits. I returned it two weeks ago. The Mar- 
guillers come to see me and never stop asking me with all the amiability 
possible when I shall say Mass in their church. But I am not the man 
to let myself be ensnared by their honeyed words : I have known them 
too long. Did I go into that church today, tomorrow they would 
threaten me through their satellites to lead me, cudgel in hand, a merry 
chase down the pulpit — a threat publicly made under the church gallery 
by Edmond Mouton two months ago. I told them I would enter the 
church only when it belongs to me, as the representative of my Bishop. 
— The whole parish shall decide the issue. Already I have some lumber 
ready, and some which is getting ready every day for the new church. 
Its plan is made. If the parish renounces the privilege granted by the 
Legislature and makes a surrender pure and simple of whatever con- 
stitutes the church property into the hands of Your Lordship for the 
use of the Catholics, it is on this property that I shall build the church.82 
otherwise I shall build it on my own property. Do not fear. Dear 
Bishop, I may go too fast. On the contrary I find myself guilty of 
being too slow. But slowness is desirable to leave the goodwill of the 

80. St. Martinsville, August 2, 1843. Ibid. 

81. Governor Alexander Mouton, son of John Mouton, Sr., the donor of the church 

82. A new church was indeed badly needed. 


parishioners, especially the Creoles, to cool down. This church will 
not cost me anything. 

The Marguillers may possibly write to you to have another priest: 
that is what I was told, if I continue in my Missions abroad. Your 
Lordship is infinitely wiser than L and know consequently what is to 
be done. But if I may be allowed to address a request to you, it is that 
you should show unshaken firmness in this circumstance, which shall 
decide the fate of religion in this parish. 

... I shall speak another time of Pont-Perry and a few other 
things which are doing well. . . . 

Father Megret's anticipations had hit the mark. No sooner was 
he back in Lafayette, than he had fresh news to communicate. This 
he did in a letter dated August 4 : ^^ 

On the 20th of July, by a secret deliberation of the Marguillers it 
was resolved that Edmond Mouton, chairman, is authorised to write 
to the Bishop and ask him for another priest, and explain the reasons 
why the actual pastor, A. D. Megret, does not suit us. 

In the same meeting, resolved: that said A. D. Megret shall render 
his accounts; should he refuse or neglect to comply with the request 
of said Committee, means appointed by law shall be resorted to to 
compel him. s* 

The petition here referred to was drawn up in a very insolent, 
peremptory tone. It even tried to intimidate the Bishop. Father 
Megret, of course, was not slow in putting before his Superior what- 
ever might contribute to enlighten him on the character of the Trustees. 

In order to enable you. Right Reverend Sir, to choose your argu- 
ments in my favor, permit me to tell you once more that the said chair- 
man is the very man who was paying Guegnon^s to write against re- 
ligion, the priesthood, me and yourself; the very man who, with three 
others, contributed the $50.00 to pay for the clubbing which I received; 
the very man who lately boasted he had offered $50.00 to another fellow 
to lynch me. As you see, he is my best friend. 

I did not tell you, I think, that the drubbing took place in the sight 
of many people, though they were at a distance; that he, Edmond 
Mouton, was laughing with great glee at the spectacle; that two weeks 
after my Missions were begun, Guegnon received some more money to 
put in his paper the article against me, where I was styled a tyrant, and 
the town described as congratulating itself for recovering peace and 
happiness since I was gone. 

In this connection, I must add that, as the Marguillers demanded 
that I say Mass on Sundays, I told them that they were inconsistent: 
if they wished to have a priest, they should take his defence; if they 
realized that his presence is necessary in the town, they should reply 
in their own name to the unjust and unchristian outbursts of Guegnon 
against me. 

It is, moreover, one of them, who is responsible for the inflam- 
matory mouthings with which the scoundrel with the bludgeon opened 
upon me. These were pure calumny : the Marguiller in question apo- 
logized to me. 

Regarding the accounts which, as treasurer, I must render tomor- 
row, I told them that they could not undo that which had been done 
by the common agreement of both authorities; that they should submit 

88. Ibid. 

84. Italics are Megret's, who underlines. 

88, The newspaper man of whom Megret complained before. 


to you the reasons why they did it; that I would render them accounts 
only when I had obtained your consent. This had been my first reply; 
and I should have clung to it, owing to their notorious bad faith and 
impiety. Finally, My Lord, if you like to know it, out of seven Mar- 
guillers four are Freemasons and the other three no better. 

Before God, I am not conscious that I have anything to reproach 
myself with in regard to the administration of my parish. Nay even my 
work has gone beyond my strength. I do not think either that I failed 
any against the rules of mere courtesy with anyone; and the charge they 
lay against me is about certain retorts of mine. I have kept a copy of 
them word for word and sent it to some of them: there is nothing in 
these retorts which is capable of offending a man of good faith. At 
any rate, whatever charges they may bring against me in their letter 
are fictitious, no matter what kind of proofs they may allege. 

The project of snatching the pastor of Lafayette — ^and in his per- 
son, religion — out of the clutches of the Trustees has long been the ob- 
ject of mature consideration on my part before God ; I believe it to be, 
with your good pleasure, the expression of his will. All my paiishioners 
are generally good; hence they desire the success of this undertaking. 
Only a few miscreants may protest : but are we not sent to procure the 
salvation of the true children of God? and shall a handful of bad Cath- 
olics and of Protestants be powerful enough to stop me? I think not. 
My confidence in the power of God is unalloyed. The time is coming 
when that class of people shall be brought low. 

I wish I could speak also to you about Pont-Perry. I have presently 
under way there a large house and a church ; the latter shall be ready 
in a few weeks. The missions procure an advantage far superior to that 
of staying at home in your parish center; however, that kind of ministry 
cannot always last, owing to fatigues which it entails. 

Adjoining my church of Pont-Perry, I have three to four hundred 
arpents of land in the best location, on the banks of the bayou, ten 
leagues from Vermillionville and fifteen from the limits of Lafayette, 
not far from the sea, in the midst of a population much larger than thai 
which lives around Vermillionville. When the church is sufficiently 
finished and I have said Mass in it, and have set apart plenty of ground 
for the rectory and cemetery, etc., etc., I shall divide the rest into lots 
which I shall sell with the proviso that the buyers will have to pay an- 
nually an interest of ^6 to the church, according to the rules fol- 
lowed at St. Martinsville, which I have read and find excellently word- 
ed. Several people have already applied for lots. 

Several times has this subject of the church at Pont-Perry been 
mentioned in the letters of Father Megret to the Bishop : it was indeed 
a matter near to his heart. Shortly after his coining to Lafayette he 
had realized the extent of his charge and the numbers of Catholics 
who Hved miles away from the center of the parish; and "he had com- 
passion on them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd." 
From that feeling to devising ways and means to relieve this spiritual 
distress, in a man of quick decision as he was, there was but one step ; 
and soon a survey of the local conditions resulted in the choice of 
Pont-Perry as a desirable center. His voluntary exile from the church 
of Lafayette naturally whetted his interest in the new establishment; 
and through his letters we may follow the rapid birth and progress of 
that creation of his. In the course of time, the new settlement shifted 
to a more convenient location ; but its name, Abbeville, or rather Abbe- 

86. A blank; the sum is not indicated in the original. 


ville, will forever, it may be hoped, remind the generations to come 
of the Abbe Megret, its founder, who, with jealous solicitude watched 
over its cradle. 

Things, however, did not go as fast at Pont-Perry as he had 
anticipated. On December 3,^^ he reported : "The church at Pont- 
Perry progresses slowly. I do not think it can be finished before the 
end of this month. The work was more considerable than I had 
figured out. ... I have not failed to go to Pont-Perry once a month. 
The Catholics come there in great numbers ; some Methodists also come 
to listen to me. At the time of this writing, seven American Method- 
ist families are under instruction and are preparing to enter the Cath- 
olic Church and to receive Baptism. I was told that, when the church 
is finished, there will remain few Methodists." 

The same letter which gives us these details contains on the parish 
of Lafayette some statistical information in answer to a questionnaire 
sent to all the pastors of the Diocese on November 22. From these we 
are able to judge the progress accomplished by Catholicity within 
twenty years, it being understood that the limits so far had remained 
unaltered since the erection of the parish. 

1° The total population of my parish is about 15 to 16000 inhabit- 
ants ; I reckon that Catholics predominate by more than half. 

2° There are annually 260 to 280 baptisms of infants, and, besides, 
a few baptisms of adults. 

3° I estimate the number of pashal communions to be 5 to 600. 

4° There are two churches in the territory of the parish, one of 
which is in construction. 

But we must revert presently to the Marguillers of Lafayette and 
their efforts to oust their unbending pastor. Their petition to the 
Bishop had no results. His answer, however, must have been con- 
ciliatory, for a truce ensued. Still as this truce was, so far as can be 
made out, on the terms dictated by Father Megret, it is clear there 
was on the part of the representative of the Church no surrendering 
of principles. The pastor recovered the church, and was to receive 
the money coming to him. As a peace-offering, he abandoned the idea, 
which he had entertained for some time and submitted to the Bishop, 
of prosecuting the rascal who had assaulted him. Circumstances were 
perhaps instrumental in bringing about this temporary rapprochement. 
A malignant disease prevailed during the fall. Whole days, and even 
nights, the pastor for more than three months multiplied himself at 
the bedside of his parishioners ; for many were stricken, and mortality 
ran high in the parish, especially among the children. It may be that 
the tear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom. 

It was, alas! but a truce. Three months of the new year had not 
elapsed before the Marguillers once more were on the warpath and — 
aggravating circumstance — against the Bishop himself. On March 21, 
1844, they addressed — under what provocation we are unable to say — 
to the wardens of St. Louis cathedral in New Orleans a formal and 

87. Megret to Bishop Blanc. Ibid. 


decided approval of the stand taken by them "to put a stop to the 
arrogance of the Louisiana clergy." In order that the unjust and in- 
sulting nature of this odious letter of the Trustees of VermiUionville 
may be fully appreciated, a few words of explanation may not be amiss. 

The fight of the Trustees of the St. Louis cathedral against the 
Bishop was of long standing. It had been the great thorn of the 
Episcopate of Bishop Du Bourg; and Bishop Rosati himself during 
the time of his administratorship had suffered from it.®^ If there was 
a respite during Bishop De Neckere's short administration, it was due 
perhaps more to the epidemics which then prevailed than to a change 
of heart in the wardens. Indeed no sooner did Bishop Blanc take the 
reins of the Episcopal government than he was attacked with renewed 
•vigor and unrelenting fury.^^ The Marguillers brought the matter 
before the State Legislature and, on the 11th of March 1837, obtained 
permission from that servile body to mortgage the cathedral for 
$200,000.00. Next they claimed the right of patronage^" formerly 
enjoyed by the King of Spain, and brought an action against the Bishop 
before the Parish court of the city. Judge Maurian decided against 
them. The Supreme court, appealed to, confirmed the decision of 
the Parish court ; and furthermore a rehearing, claimed by the Trustees, 
was refused. Every means that diabolical hatred could suggest to 
annoy and wear out the Bishop was resorted to: recognition was 
refused in insulting terms to three pastors in succession and to the 
chaplain of the hospital ; an attempt was made to exclude the clergy 
from part of the parochial residence ; finally a discriminatory ordinance 
was obtained from the municipality, punishing by a fine any Catholic 
priest who performed the burial service anywhere else but in a mor- 
tuary chapel over which the Marguillers claimed control. Judge 
Preval, before whom came the case of Father Permoli, who had con- 
travened this ordinance, declared it illegal ; the City court, and finally 
the Supreme Court of the United States were of the same opinion. In 
1843, the president of the Board of Trustees, who was also Grand 
Master of the Foyer Lodge of Freemasons, authorized the Lodge to 
erect a monument in the Catholic cemetery, himself laying the corner- 
stone. "So confident in their strength were the Trustees that they 
applied to the Legislature for an Act confirming all their pretended 
powers. The Act actually passed the Senate, but was rejected in the 
Lower House. Their appeal to the higher court was also rejected, but 
while depriving the cathedral of clergy, they were thus squandering 
the money of the Church in what the judiciary declared to be un- 
founded litigation." ^^ 

It was in reference to this appeal of the cathedral Trustees to the 

88. See St. Louis Catholic Historical Review, Vol. I, No. 4—5, July-October 1919, 
pp. 222 and 229. 

89. See J. G. Shea, History of the Catholic Church in the United States, Vol. Ill, 
pp. 676 foil., and Vol. IV, pp. 267 foil. 

90. The right to appoint a parish priest, sometimes granted by the church to some 
temporal rulers, in recognition of services rendered. 

91. J. G. Shea: Op. cit., Vol. IV, p. 266. 


Legislature that the Marguillers of VermilHonville sent their letter of 
hearty approval. This document is worth citing here in its original 
text: the matter reveals the impudent and sycophantic spirit which 
dictated it; and the form, the high degree of education of its authors. 

Aujourdhui le 21 du mois de Mars de I'annee de Notre-Seigneur 
1844, a une assemblee des Marguillers de I'eglise St. Jean de Lafayette, 
membres presents a la susdite assemblee, Edmond Mouton, President, 
Fransois Braux, Don Louis Bernard, Rosemond Dugas=:ils ont reso- 
lu que nous approuvons le Memoire de Mrs. les Marguillers de I'eglise 
St. Louis de la .Nile Orleans, a I'Assemblee generale de I'Etat de la 
Louisiane. Que ce faisant, nous ne doutons nullement que ce ne soit 
le desir des catholiques de cette paroisse de voir mettre un frein au 
clerge de la Louisiane, qui depuis quelques mois a cherche a mettre 
le desordre parmi eux. Et ce serait avec joie que nous verrions la tran- 
quillite retablie par une loi qui forcerait le clerge a se preter ^ nos 

II est de plus resolu qu'une copie de cette resolution soit trans- 
mise aux Marguillers de I'eglise St. Louis de la N.lle Orleans par le 
president Edmond Mouton, afin qu'ils en fassent usage, s'ils le croient 

Fait et passe le meme jour et annee dessus. 

E. MOUTON, Pres. 
ofisiRfi JUDICE, Secretaire. ^ 

At the close of the year 1844, the Trustees of the St. Louis cathe- 
dral, defeated in the courts of law and condemned by Catholic opinion 
throughout the country, yielded completely. The Marguillers of Ver- 
milHonville cut a sorry figure after that defeat. At the next elections 
the parishioners of St. John's church chose an entirely new set of 
Trustees. Not one of them was re-elected. But they were the kind 
of people that "don't know when they are licked," and still hoped to 
force Father M^gret to accept them for another year. They, accord- 
ingly, called an election. Nobody appeared. Whereupon, impervious 
to the realization of the fact that they were consigned to the Hmbo of 
Trusteedom, they decided to try the polls another time. Here Father 
Megret stole a march on them. He sent around to all the true Cath- 
olics to assemble the following day at the church. They all responded ; 
the election took place and the old Board of Trustees was utterly 
routed. Thus did the Catholics of Lafayette repudiate and avenge the 
action of their purblind and overweening Marguillers. 

Even during the stormy period thus finishing, the records show 
from time to time a rift in the clouds. So it is a pleasant surprise for 
him who scans the parish registers to meet, on November 21, 1844, an 

C2. This day, the twenty-first of the month of March of the year of our Lord 1844, 
at a meeting of the Trustees of the church of St. John, Lafayette, being present at said 
meeting: Edmond Mouton, chairman, Francois Braux, Don Louis Bernard, Rosemond 
Dugas; they resolved that we approve the Memorandum of the Trustees of the church 
of St. Louis in New Orleans addressed to the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana. 
That, by so doing, we have not the least doubt but that it is the desire of the Catholics 
of this parish to see the clergy of Louisiana restrained, as for some months back it en- 
deavored to put disorder among them. Joyfully shall we see tranquillity re-established by 
means of a law compelling the clergy to comply with our institutions. Resolved, moreover, that 
a copy of this resolution shall be transmitted to the Trustees of the church of St. Louis 
at New Orleeans by the chairman, Edmond Mouton, in order that they may make use of 
it, if they deem it necessary. 

Done and passed the day and year above. (Signatures). 


entry, the baptism of a colored child, written and signed by the Rev. 
Stephen Theodore Badin. We know already something of this true 
pioneer of the faith, the first priest ever ordained in America, and the 
companion of our old friend Father Barriere on his journey from 
Baltimore and in the missions of Kentucky. At the time of his visit 
to Lafayette, Father Badin was an old man, seventy-six years of age."^ 
We have from the pen of Ben. J. Webb, who knew him well, a de- 
scription of the venerable proto-sacerdos — as he styled himself in the 
Register — antedating this visit only by three years, and probably true 
in the main at the time of his journey to Louisiana : ^* 

To those who had known him in his prime, he looked but the 
shadow of his former self. His once lithe and upright form was now 
bent with age, and his body appeared to have outgrown his extremities. 
His gait was shambling and uncertain. The muscles of his face had lost 
their natural rigidity, and the flesh around his jaws hung in flaccid 
masses. His nose was sharp and pinched, and beyond a moderately 
thick and snow-white fringe around the base of the skull, his hair had 
all disappeared. He was suffering, too, from a partial paralysis of the 
right forearm and hand, and he generally appeared with his left arm 
and hand caressingly thrown around the diseased member. But a single 
one of his features was unchanged. His eyes had lost none of their 
brilliancy. Ordinarily cast downward, and shut in by the inclosing lids 
till scarcely seen by the observer, it needed but a signal from the brain 
power to cause them to expand and to speak, as was their wont, of 
what was passing in his mind. At times, and especially when convers- 
ing with persons of known intellectual capacity, and upon favorite 
topics, be betrayed little weakening of the intellect. He had always 
been given to jesting with his friends, and there was now no indication 
that he had conquered the propensity. 

What brought this aged and somewhat impotent man to these 
quarters? it may be asked. On the 25th of May, 1843, he had cele- 
brated the golden jubilee of his ordination at Lexington, where, it will 
be remembered, in November 1793. he offered up the Holy Sacrifice 
for the first time in Kentucky. The rest he had so well earned he then 
spent in visits through Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Louisiana, 
his most lengthened sojourns being at places where the vernacular of 
the inhabitants was French. In this respect at least, he had become a 
child again, that the liquids of his mother tongue formed to him a 
lullaby. Coming to Louisiana, could he, whose mind was so full of a 
long past, forbear seeing the scenes for which Barriere had abandoned 
him? He stayed several days with Father Megret; and we may be 
sure that these were red-letter days for the pastor of Vermillionville. 

On July 27 of the following year, 1845, another guest, but by no 
means a stranger to Lafayette, was at the home of Father Megret — 
Bishop Blanc, who had come to make once more the canonical visita- 
tion of the parish. The record of this pastoral visit, however, was 
made only four weeks later, August 22, because, as the prelate re- 
marks, "the Register of Baptisms could not be presented to me on 

93. Born at Orleans, France, July 17, 1768; died April 19, 1863, in Archbishop 
Purcell's house, Cincinnati, where he had retired. He is buried at Notre Dame, Indiana. 

94. Ben. J. Webb. The Centenary of Catholicity in Kentucky, p. 462. 


the former date." The Bishop naturally deplored the fact that the 
manifold occupations of the pastor did not leave him sufficient time 
to keep his Registers in order; he specially regrets the neglect of 
which the record of Burials was the object. He recommends better 
order in the sacristy; insists upon the installation of sideboards or 
chests of drawiers wherein to keep the sacred vestments ; also wants 
a lock placed on the outside door of the sacristy, and a padlock on the 
inside door leading into the sanctuary. The Marguillers are requested 
to repair the altar, or, what would be still better, to have a new one 
made. Finally the Bishop expresses the hope that the Marguillers, 
who lately have done so much for the rectory, will now deem it fit to 
take the necessary steps to erect a new church which is badly needed. 

We heard Father Megret lament, soon after his coming to La- 
fayette, the lack of educational facilities for the middle class, who 
could not afford to send their boys and girls to Grand Coteau. His 
laments were never sterile : for every defect he had at once a remedy. 
The word "impossible" had no place in his vocabulary ; difficulties 
there might be, but none could withstand his energy and perseverance. 
In this instance as in every other, he never gave himself rest until he 
had what he wanted. The desired teaching community he found in the 
Sisters of Mount Carmel. He was not long to realize the unwisdom 
of his original plan of an Academy at the Cote Gelee ; accordingly 
he bought for the "old man" McBride's house, where the Brothers' 
school now is. There, on September 8, the Academy of Mount Carmel of 
Lafayette opened its halls to eight young ladies ; a week later fourteen 
were present. "Before the end of the month," wrote Father Megret 
on September 17, "they will be twenty. As a matter of fact, the ap- 
plications received will fill all the accommodations. But the pupils are 
slow in coming, because most of the families, whilst expecting the 
Nuns, were still afraid they might not come, and had provided for 
their children some other way. The house will be filled before many 
months, and I believe they will have about an even number of boarders 
and day-scholars." "Old man" McBride's house was intended as only 
a temporary — and it was a most uncomfortable — shelter for the aca- 
demy. Some time later Father Megret bought the old Masonic lodge, 
and the adjacent lots, and thither was the convent moved on the spot 
which it still occupies. 

September 8 of this year 1921, marked the seventy-fifth anni- 
versary — the Diamond Jubilee — of this institution. Such a span of 
life, as well as the part which the Academy has played in the progress 
of Lafayette, would deserve a separate sketch. For the present suffice 
it to notice that the memory of Father Megret is still alive in this 
foundation of his, and his picture, as is but meet and just, occupies 
a place of honor in one of the halls of the Convent. 

The letter announcing the opening of the Academy contained an- 
other welcome intelligence : the parish had decided to turn over to the 
Bishop the ownership of the church property. We must let the pastor 
tell in his own way the news to the prelate. This was the happy cul- 


mination of his relentless efforts: hence there is no mistaking the 
undertone of genuine pleasure which pervades the whole letter. 

I am sending you herewith copy of the Deed which conveys to 
you the title to the property of our congregation. 

"The Catholic inhabitants who form the congregation of the 
church of St. John the Evangelist, in the parish of Lafayette, feel- 
ing the need of a new church and realizing after an experience of 
twenty years that the revenues of the church are unequal to provide 
for the upkeep of the property, do renounce, by the present Deed, 
all civil and political privileges granted them by the Legislature of 
this state in the Act incorporating the aforesaid church. 

"The undersigned inhabitants, by this same Deed, transfer the 
rights and privileges of ownership which they have over the church 
of St. John the Evangelist and its dependencies, to the Bishop of 
the Diocese canonically instituted, at present the Right Rev. Anthony 
Blanc, and his successors, to the end that he may have the full use 
of said property, administer it by himself, or have it administered, 
and dispose of it freely for the greater advantage of the Catholic 
congregation, the title to the same property being vested in him by 
these presents. 

"May not the Right Rev. Gentleman either sell or alienate any 
part of said property; he pledges himself to defray the expenses 
necessary for its upkeep and to have, within the space of the first 
five years from the date hereinafter affixed, a new church, beauti- 
ful and spacious, built, without demanding any contribution from 
the Catholics of this parish. He likewise pledges himself to have 
the church of Lafayette regularly attended by a priest, who shall 
celebrate Mass there every Sunday and feast day, and shall be 
always at the service of the parish, unless extraordinary circum- 
stances interfere ; it being understood that this ecclesiastic shall be 
treated by the inhabitants with the respect and deference due to 
the character wherewith he is invested. 

"The pastor, having no other revenue than his casuel, shall con- 
tinue to receive it as determined by the regulations herein indicated, 
which have been agreed to by the Marguillers and approved by the 
Bishop : 

Casuel of the Pastor : 
Funerals of free people over 12 years of age : 

ist class $50.00. 

2nd class $30.00. 

3rd class $20.00. 

4th class $10.00. 

Under twelve years of age : 

1st class $25.00. 

2nd class $15.00. 

3rd class $10.00. 

4th class $ 5.00. 

Nota bene. Procession (only for ist class) $10.00. 

Funerals of slaves over 12 years of age: $6.00. 

Funerals of slaves under 12 years of age: $3-00- 

Services for the dead^s with High Mass : same rates. 

Casuel of the Cemetery. 
Cemetery right for all free persons not having recourse to the 
ministry of the Catholic priest: 

over 12 years of age $6.00. 

under 12 years of age $ 300. 

95. Month-mind; Anniversary 


Tombs : 

Large (ordinary) size $30.00. 

Medium size $20.00. 

Small size $10.00. 

Every extra concession: .50 cts. per cubic foot. 
"We wish that the minute of the present Act, which we have 
attentively read or heard read, and do declare to be the expression 
of our will, to be registered and filed among the minutes in the 
office of ... . 

"Done at Vermillionville, on this i6th of September 1846." 
(Follow the signatures of the Marguillers, beginning with the 
chairman, those of the principal inhabitants; and now those of all 
the inhabitants are being gotten). 

Behold, My Lord, how Almighty God arranged matters. I hope 
that this contract will be satisfactory to you. I consider it as the 
triumph of right and the solid foundation of religion in Lafayette. Do 
not worry about the condition inserted in regard to the new church: 
Divine Providence shall not fail us. 

There is every reason to believe that the Bishop was satisfied in- 
deed. This happy solution created a precedent which, in the course 
of time, other parishes sooner or later would imitate. The adaptation 
to the new order of things at Lafayette, however, did not go without 
some jolt ; and before long, perhaps even before the Bishop's approval 
was received, the pastor and the Marguillers had a last bout. For 
some reason or other these gentlemen had closed the church. Father 
Megret emigrated to the new Convent and improvised there a chapel 
in which he rented twelve pews to the families that remained faithful 
to him. The diagram of the pews and list of pewholders is still ex- 
tant in one of the registers. The Marguillers retaliated by refunding 
four months' pew-rent, thus trying to deprive the pastor of revenues. 
This fight ended, as all such misunderstandings, in the final surrender 
of the Marguillers to the will of the pastor;. and after a few months 
the church-doors were opened once more. The happy parishioners 
took again possession of their church with solemn ceremonies of 

But it seems that the dove of peace could never roost very long 
under the roof of Father Megret. Close upon the heels of the civil 
war just happily ended, followed foreign hostilities. The casus belli 
arose from the vexed question of the parish limits, the Jesuits of 
Grand Coteau being this time Father Megret's opponents. This was 
a long contest. It started in 1848 in a tilt between the pastor of La- 
fayette and Father Sebastian Santois, S.J., and though apparently the 
first round ended in Father Megret's favor, it was by no means final ; 
but the pastor of Lafayette was not to see the end of it, which came 
only in 1857 by an authoritative decision of Archbishop Blitnc. Much 
ink was spilled on both sides during these nine years. Father Megret, 
as we already know, wrote at length ; so did Father Abbadie, S J. 
Megret's effusions adorn the pages 18 to 60 of Register XVL On the 
other side the History or the Parish of Grand Coteau kept by the 
Jesuits gives in precise terms and beautiful diction a complete account 
of the misunderstanding. After Father Megret's death, the contro- 


versy was kept up by his successor, who went like a lion into the fray 
and became the target of some very spicy compliments in the Parish 
History of Grand Coteau. Amusing as all this literature is at this 
time and distance from the conflict, we must forbear going into a 
detailed account of this canonical joust. Suffice it to mention here the 

Until the "Jesuit war" broke out, the northern limit of the parish 
of Lafayette was understood to be, according to the decree of Bishop 
Du Bourg confirmed on November 2, 1837, by Bishop Blanc, "a 
straight line drawn from the confluence of the Bayou Pont-Brule 
with the Bayou Vermillion, stretching as far as the end of the island 
of Carencro ; thence to the headwaters of the Bayou Queue-de-Tortue, 
and this Bayou down to the Mermentau." In 1850, after the "first 
round" of the fight, Father Megret obtained from Father Rousselon, 
the Vicar General, that the parish limit should follow the course of the 
Bayou Carencro. Finally, in 1857, Archbishop Blanc, to put an end to 
the difference between Father Abbadie and Father Foltier, adopted 
new limits, about half-way between those decreed by Bishop Du Bourg 
and those determined by Father Rousselon. The new boundary line 
was marked to the west by a coulee (gully) originating in a marsh near 
the farm of Lesin (Jean) Prejean and running westward; to the east 
by another coulee running about the same latitude, but in the opposite 
direction ; and between the two, a straight line joining the head of the 
western coulee with the point where the old road of Grand Coteau to 
Lafayette (manche Jean L. Broussard) crosses the eastern coulee.^^ 
This settlement held good until the erection, in 1868, of the parish of 
Carencro, formed out of portions of Grand Coteau and Lafayette. 

Two more pastoral visits occurred during the past years of Father 
Megret's administration. The first of these took place on the 25th of 
September 1848: no comments on parish affairs were made on that 
occasion. Five years later, on August 22, 1853, Archbishop Blanc was 
once more in Lafayette. After the confirmation ceremonies. Father 
Megret begged the Archbishop to relieve him of his charge. For sev- 
eral years indeed it had been his intention to relinquish the parish. 
The prelate acceded to his request, and, on August 29, just one week 
after this request was made, the bonds which had united for more 
than eleven years Father Megret to the parish of St. John the Evan- 
gelist were severed. No successor, however, having been appointed, 
he remained for a time, until Father de Chaignon, S.J., of Grand 
Coteau, took charge of the abandoned parish. Father Megret then 
went to Abbeville, his recent foundation so dear to his heart. 

Shortly after the Archbishop's visit a fearful epidemic broke out 
throughout the country: some thought it was the dreaded pest, al- 
though all the symptoms were those of yellow fever. The disease 
raged with such a fury that out of one hundred inhabitants, seventy- 

96. Note of Father Abbadie, S. J., May IS, 1869. Archives of the Diocese of 


three were carried off. Father Megret was the last victim. He died 
on the 5th of December 1853. 

He was still at Lafayette when the scourge made its appearance; 
and later on some acrimonious people who could not bear to have him 
rest quietly in his grave, maligned his memory by the accusation that 
he had run away from the scene of desolation. At first blush a charge 
of this nature laid at the door of a man of well-known intrepidity and 
devotedness like Father Megret, is ludicrous. It is, moreover, abso- 
lutely unfounded, and, therefore, slanderous. Father Chaignon writes 
in the Register of Funerals that he copied there twenty-three entries 
left by Father Megret on loose slips of paper. These burials occurred 
between September 1 and 24 — an average of one a day; he must not 
have run away very far to be able to officiate so frequently. In fact, 
after the breaking out of the epidemic, he divided his attention between 
Vermillionville and Abbeville, and the Register of the latter place 
might perhaps complete the testimony of that of Lafayette as to his 
activity during this time. There can be no doubt but that he was 
deeply affected by the frightful spectacle which in both places met his 
eyes. He actually did leave the two villages and resided at the planta- 
tion of Saint-Julien, on the banks of the Bayou; but every appeal to 
his ministry was always faithfully and promptly answered. Says 
Alexander Barde, the historian of the Comites de Vigilance,^'' who 
knew him well : 

. . . Whosoever can get away, flees to the adjoining country . . . 
Death hovers over the village . . . Nobody remains except those who 
cannot quit their homes or business ... A few white people and some 
colored folks remain . . ., the Abbe Megret, their pastor, at their head. 
For Father Megret, the soldier of God . . ., is in the post assigned in 
the battle . . . The epidemic carries off everybody, without any distinc- 
tion of age, race or nationality. It kills the whites, the mulattoes, the 
negroes, all born in this country . . . We said that the dead were counted 
first by one or two; . . . soon they were counted by six, eight, twelve. 
. . . During the first period of this epidemic, which many call the yellow 
fever, whilst others term it the pest, the Abbe Megret had remained at 
his post. The Abbe Megret was formerly editor of the Avenir. He had 
submitted to the decree of the Pope condemning our Lamennais. He 
possessed a noble heart and was endowed with great intelligence . . . 
Eh bien! at the end of this epidemic, fear seized him. He took refuge 
with Mr. Paul de Saint-Julien, where he said Mass under the magnifi- 
cent umbrella trees . . . The Abbe Megret went to stay with Dr. V. 
Gauthier. There his mulatto dies : he buries him in the yard of the 
plantation, where he had found an asylum. Then he departs, his heart 
broken, to the village which he had abandoned in the body, but to which 
he had hurried every time he was requested to bring the sacraments to 
the dying . . . The pastor dies, the last one, during that epidemic at 
Vermillionville . . . We were just taking dinner with Father Megret, 
when he was notified that, a few yards away, there was a Christian in 
the agony of death : it was Girard. The Abbe hastened to the side of 
the dying man to bring him the last consolations. A few days after- 
wards he had gone to join those of his flock whom the plague has car- 
ried off . . . 

97. Histoire des Comite.s de Viffilarice aux Attakapas. 12mo. 428 p. Saint-Jean- 
Baptiste, La., 1861. 


This surely does not sound as though Father Megret had deserted 
the post of duty, although he had taken refuge in the country where 
most of his parishioners, or rather, his former parishioners, then 
dwelt. Many a hero has gone into battle, his heart beating a lively 
tattoo; still he stuck to the assigned post, although death dealt his 
Dlows on every side. So did Father Megret. It was natural that, 
with the great number of enemies made during his stay at Lafayette, 
a slur should be cast upon his memory. His heroic death, however, 
due to his unhesitating response to the summons of the dying Girard, 
ought to be sufficient to clear his name from the most despicable of all 
reproaches, the stain of cowardice. 

No funeral oration, in those times of utter desolation, was pro- 
nounced over his remains. None, so near the troublous times through 
which he had Hved, and when the passions aroused by them had not 
yet subsided, could have done him impartial justice : distance is neces- 
sary to judge the true proportions of things, and the results of man's 
endeavors as well. We have followed Father Megret in the different 
epochs of his administration of St. John's church. Those who knew 
him personally — alas ! the fingers of one hand are more than sufficient 
to count their numbers now — speak very highly of his character. His 
intentions were always upright; and if his strong personality came 
often to the fore, it was because of the vigor of his convictions, as in 
his wordy encounters with the Jesuits of Grand Coteau ; it was also 
and particularly because his mind could not harbor the idea of a 
compromise upon questions where the independence of the Church or 
the dignity of his calling was at stake. He would never bend before 
any kind of injustice; and for underhand work he professed a supreme 
loathing. That a few laymen far beneath him in intellectual attain- 
ments should lord it over him, he could not brook the idea. Was that 
pride? If it was pride, that pride was not unlike that which prompted 
to our Lord his scathing denunciation of the Pharisees, self-appointed 
Wind guides of the blind. If a man's friends, because of their intimate 
knowledge of him, are his best judges, well may we trust in the 
appreciation of Alexander Barde; no more fitting conclusion can be 
given to this sketch of Father Megret's career : 

In 1842, a vessel from Bordeaux, the Talma, carried to America the 
author of these lines and a priest who was to leave imperishable 
memories in the parish of Lafayette. This priest's name was Megret. 
A pupil and admirer of Lamennais, whom he had served as private in 
the redaction of the Avenir . . ., the Abbe Megret had brought along 
with him to the United States, an activity that devoured everything. 
The nineteenth century is a century of action; the spirit of the nine- 
teenth century was incarnate in him. He was sent to the parish of 
Lafayette, an immense parish, the extensiveness of which would have 
frightened another priest accustomed to the dolce far niente and the 
happy moments of mental recreation, found within the quiet walls of 
the presbytery. He found himself too narrowed down. There are 
souls that demand the whole world for the theatre of their activity;: 
there are others that find a hamlet too large. 

Baptizing the new-born, or bringing the sacraments which make 
death easier, this priest followed the Bayou Vermillion in all its sinuosi- 


ties. One day he planted his stafif near some miserable huts and said: 
"Here I am going to build a village." This same day Abbeville was 
born. To tell you of all the combats this priest had to sustain, would 
be impossible . . . An American hamlet disputed the title of parish-seat, 
twice or three times, to the village created by him. The Abbe fought 
in the courts and bofore the Legislature — this institution of the people, 
always willing to commit an injustice . . . ; he did battle so valiantly 
that in the end he triumphed, and thus prevented the lawgivers from 
committing an enormous abuse of power by granting the courthouse to 
the neighboring hamlet. Decidedly the Abbe Megret had wrought a 
miracle, a true miracle . . . And Abbeville developed ... 

After Father Megret's death the parish remained without a resi- 
dent pastor for nearly three years. The priests of Grand Coteau and 
St. Martinsville attended alternately to the ministry of the widowed 
parish. Finally on May 14, 1854, the Rev. Anthony de Chaignon, S.J., 
took charge of the place as resident pastor ad interim. He remained 
until September 1856. During his administration he tried everything 
to bring order into the chaotic state of the Registers. He collected 
all the scraps of paper upon which his predecessor had scribbled the 
entries. But in spite of his good will he did not succeed, and many 
pagees had to be left blank. 

The Rev. S. J. Foltier took in 1856 the place vacated by Father 
De Chaignon, and remained in Lafayette until March 30, 1864. Refer- 
ence has been made above to his unsuccessful attempt to renew the 
controversy about the parish limits. If he had inherited some of 
Megret's combativeness, he was far from measuring up to his intel- 
lectual stature : hence they had over at Grand Coteau now and then a 
bit of fun at his expense. Like Father De Chaignon and with about 
the same success he, too, tried his hand at straightening the parish 
books. It was, it seems, a herculean task. To satisfy his conscience, 
when he had done all he could, he deemed it proper to set forth in a 
lengthy and verbose declaration in five paragraphs which may be read 
in Register XIV, the reasons why the Parish Records are in such a 
wretched state. Apparently he was — and rightly — far from satisfied 
with the results of his labors ; hence he winds up with the remark that 
"the deficiencies (in the Registers) might eventually be supplied by 
consulting some hrouillons ," i. e., notes hastily jotted down on pieces 
of paper, "which he found scattered all over the premises." A doubt- 
ful comfort, especially to us now, as these hrouillons have long since 
gone the way of many old papers: to the waste-basket and the 
kitchen stove. 

After a few months' vacancy, filled once more by Father De 
Chaignon, S.J., a new pastor — the eighth — was given to Lafayette in 
the person of Rev. G. Rouxel.®^ Among the old pastors within the 

98. Later on Auxiliary Bishop; at the time of his appointment to Lafayette, Father 
Bouxel was assistant to Father Raymond at Opelousas. 


recollection of a number of inhabitants, Father Rouxel occupies a 
place apart : his charming personality, not less than his sterling 
priestly qualities soon endeared him to his flock and made his recall, 
in January 1872, to be looked upon as a public calamity for Lafayette. 
His occasional visits thereafter were always a feast, and his promotion 
to the Episcopal dignity in 1899 was held as the natural and well- 
deserved recognition of his unfailing pastoral devotedness. 

He had been three years at Lafayette when the country was visited 
again by the yellow scourge, and he himself was attacked by the dis- 
ease. Father Abbadie hastened to his rescue. Seventy burials are 
entered in the Records for the months of September and October of 
that year 1867. How many were hastily laid away without the rites 
of the Church will never be known. Father Rouxel recovered; but 
the young pastor of Royville took sick and was brought to the rectory 
of St. John's. Shortly afterwards he succumbed. The following entry 
was made in the Register of Funerals : 

In the year 1867, and on the 20th day of October, Feast of the 
Purity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, I gave ecclesiastical burial 
to Joseph Viau, priest, pastor of Royville. He was born in France, 
in the Department of Maine-et-Loire, Anjou, and died today at noon 
at the residence of Father Rouxel, rector of Lafayette. He was about 
twenty-seven years of age. 

J. F. Abbadie, S.J. 

In January 1872, Father Rouxel was succeeded by the Rev. H. 
Gonnellaz, also a former assistant of Father Raymond at Opelousas.^" 
After nine years, in April 1881, he was replaced by the Rev. E. Forge, 
who stayed in Lafayette to the time of his death, October 30, 1905. 

When Father Forge took charge of the parish, he gave his special 
attention to the education of the boys who were too old to be taught 
by the Sisters. To this end he built St. John's College, at the north- 
east corner of the church grounds. This institution was to be the con- 
tinuation of the Sisters' Boys' School. Somehow or other it did not 
succeed : a sufficient number of boys could not be found to attend ; 
even the expedient of closing the Boys' school at Mount Carmel, in 
order to save the College, created great difficulties and, after a trial, 
had to be abandoned ; and in the end St. John's College went to in- 
crease the ever growing number of small Colleges which have failed. 
After its close, the building was removed to west of the presbytery 
and became the dining-room for state occasions. 

Meanwhile the church was receiving its share of the pastor's at- 
tention. A new roof, of galvanized iron ; the addition of a sacristy ; 
the installation of the beautiful high altar which to this day looms up 
in the sanctuary of the cathedral, and was so conspicuous a feature 
of the old frame church ; the introduction of two stained-glass win- 
dows, and the replacing of the old fashioned kerosene lamps by electric 
light, were as many steps marking the progress towards a new order 
of things. The size itself of the building, sufficient thirty years be- 

99. He had been there from January 9, 1861 to February 21, 1862. 


fore, when it was erected, was now no longer commensurate with the 
increase of the congregation. First the church was lengthened ; then 
a wing was added to the south; then, again, shortly before Father 
Forge's death, another to the north, giving the whole structure the 
cruciform plan so fitting in a church. The presbytery, too, underwent 
a much needed transformation, and indeed was so remodelled that it 
might almost be regarded as a new building. 

Father Forge was a great lover of flowers. The plot of ground 
between the church and the rectory was converted into a regular 
bower of roses: thirteen hundred different varieties of roses are said 
to have been cultivated by him, and he knew the name of every one. 
People came from afar to behold that beautiful sight. For blocks 
around the church the sweet fragrance of the roses pervaded the air 
and perfumed the whole neighborhood. No stranger visiting Lafayette 
could say to have seen the place, who had neglected to have a view 
of the fair gardens of St. John's rectory. Although the flower-loving 
priest spent sums of money on his fragrant pets, still he found means 
to receive his brother-priests and entertain them with most open- 
handed hospitality. It was rare to see the well-provided board with- 
out some clerical guests around: they all knew how much he enjoyed 
their company. During the fall of 1905, when the yellow fever reg- 
ulations prevended travelling, Father Forge's last letter to one of his 
brother-priests deplores the useless quarantine restrictions which 
"have emptied my board. I feel it very much. No priest has visited 
me for months. The house looks empty, and I need the company of 
my clerical brethren just now. Shall I ever see them again?" To his 
great consolation the quarantine was lifted just in time to permit his 
numerous friends to bid him Godspeed on that journey whence no 
mortal ever returns. 

When his health began to decline, he was very fortunate in the 
appointment of an Assistant in the person of the Rev. J. R. Bollard, 
now pastor of Abbeville. This young, energetic priest proved to be to 
his now weakened rector a friend indeed. For a number of years he 
was practically alone in a parish which demanded the services of three 
hard working priests.^"" 

Thirteen months elapsed after Father Forge's demise before a 
new pastor was appointed. This time there was no need of having to 
look for a pastor pro tent at Grand Coteau : the Rev. A. Chasles, the 
last assistant of the deceased — now rector of Leonville — took charge 
of things until the Diocesan authority should fill the vacancy. "^ 
Finally the burden fell on the shoulders of the Very Rev. William J. 
Teurlings, the present incumbent. He was — and is still — young in 
years, but a conscientious, hard working man, whose natural maturity 
had still been hastened by his experiences in the hard mission of 
Cameron and during his sojourn at Washington, La. 

100. Scott had not yet been dismembered from Lafayette. 
101. It will be remembered that Archbishop P. L. Chapelle died the same fall as Father 
Forge, and that Archbishop J. Blenk was appointed only in April 1906. This was one of 
the causes which delayed the filling of the post left vacant by the demise of its pastor. 


On entering upon this last page of the story of the parish of 
Lafayette, the writer is well aware of the special difficulty and delicate 
nature of his task. Let simply the unadorned facts, without admixture 
of any comments, tell their own tale: thus shall history be satisfied, 
and heeded the warning of Holy Writ: "Praise not any man before 

Many things claimed the attention of the new pastor. The church, 
despite Father Forge's improvements, was now inadequate and becom- 
ing rickety and unsafe : but a new one, worthy of the parish could be 
erected only after much consideration and study, and anyway was for 
the time being out of the question. At the outset, therefore, the pastor 
confined his efforts to the rectory and the church grounds. The cem- 
etery received his special attention. Ere he had been many months in 
the parish, more than $1,000.00 were spent for putting down cement 
walks, clearing the graves and grounds from obnoxious weeds and 
removing the unsightly bushes which grew luxuriantly over the grave- 
yard. The tumble-down tombs were replaced by new ones ; the alleys 
laid out anew ; the grass kept short : in a word, the whole place, now 
clean and nice, assumed quite a new aspect. The deeds to the differ- 
ent lots were overhauled and the titles legalized or returned to the 
church, as the case might be. The parishioners were not slow to ap- 
preciate their pastor's thorough work ; and now pious promenaders 
may be seen all day long in the city of the dead visiting the last rest- 
ing place of their dear departed ones. In the spring the cemetery 
affords a beautiful sight: thousands of snowy lilies are blooming in 
the different lots and around well-kept mausoleums, and perfuming 
the air with their balmy fragrance. 

Father Teurlings' endeavors to settle the rights of individuals and 
the parish gave rise to an interesting controversy. Some of the parish- 
ioners claimed that the original donation of the church property was 
made to the parishioners individually, and not to the church or parish ; 
that, consequently, the graveyard was beyond the control of the pastor, 
no legal titles being required to hold property therein, etc. To set 
their minds at rest, the original Deed, cited above in the early pages 
of this sketch, was brought out of the Archives and given publicity. 
In the light of this document and of the subsequent conveyance of 
the title to the Ordinary, there can be no doubt but that the pastor 
of St, John's parish, as the Bishop's representative, is in unimpeach- 
able control of the property, the cemetery included. 

Although the beginning of a number of improvements was made 
in the Campo Santo of the parish, the living, too, have come in for 
their share. The catechism classes were reorganized and placed upon 
a systematic footing. The different confraternities already in exist- 
ence were given a new impetus and new societies established. During 
the month of May 1908, the children of Mary celebrated their golden 
jubilee, it being then fifty years since the society was founded by 
Father Foltier in 1858; under Father Rouxel's administration the 
confraternity had been very flourishing and played quite an important 


part in the affairs of the parish. Other societies were either reorgan- 
ized or introduced by Father Teurlings; the society of the Happy 
Death in two divisions, the one for the whites and the other for the 
colored; a society of Children of Mary for colored girls founded in 
1904 by Father Forge; the St. Joseph society for colored Catholics, 
established in 1883 ; it had collapsed in 1898 and was resuscitated in 
1907; the Altar Society, 1907; the Ushers of St. John's, 1907; the 
Apostleship of Prayer, 1907; St. CeciHa, 1908; the society of the 
Guardian Angel, colored, 1905 ; the society of St. Agnes for white 
children, 1908; the Propagation of the Faith, 1908; the Altar Boys' 
society, reorganized in 1908. At the head of the fraternal societies 
are the Knights of Columbus, established in 1907. This branch is in 
a very flourishing condition ; and there is no rashness in asserting it 
has contributed immensely to the wonderful change witnessed in the 
open practice of their faith — a thing rather rare in former times — 
by the men of Lafayette. 

Other undertakings were perhaps of farther-reaching importance. 
Up to a few years after Father Teurlings' arrival, there had been 
but one church — and this too small — for the whole Catholic popula- 
tion, black and white. The inevitable result was a tremendous leak- 
age of the colored people, so apt to fall a prey to noise-making preach- 
ers. To remedy this dismal state of things, as well as to increase the 
space of worship for both portions of the parish, was the purpose 
of the pastor when he launched the project of a separate church for 
the colored Catholics. This church, St. Paul's, commenced in 1911, 
was completed and blessed the next year; and the outcome has amply 
justified the expectations of its founder. The attendance at the old 
church has far from diminished ; whilst a flourishing parish, with two 
priests in charge of it has grown out of the chapel of ease started by 
the rector of St. John's. The Catholic school annexed to that church 
and placed under the direction of the Sisters of the Holy Family 
(colored) had last year an enrollment of 200 boys and 175 girls. 

Whilst Father TeurHngs was engaged in this foundation, he was 
maturing plans for a much needed new church. The old one had been 
for some time showing unmistakable signs of decay, and the collapse 
of its belfry one day convinced the most incredulous that the pastor 
had not been a whit too hasty in making his preparations. He wanted 
the new church to be for the citizens of Lafayette a monument to be 
proud of, and commensurate with the future needs of the growing 
population. Had he any premonitions of the honor awaiting that 
church? At all events, after a long and careful study the plans of 
E. A. Cousins were adopted, the materials assembled, and in 1913 
work was begun on the new edifice, the corner-stone being laid No- 
vember 30. On June 27, 1916, the majestic pile, a happy adaptation 
of German romanesque, was solemnly blessed with appropriate solemn- 
ity, and now stands aloft, half-way as it were between earth and 
heaven, and from this point of vantage watching over the busy town 
at its feet ; a thing of beauty, an evidence that the faith of the fathers 


does live and thrive in Lafayette, and an eloquent reminder to this 
generation and the generations to come of the piety, zeal, indominable 
energy, perseverance, exquisite taste and keen-sighted resourcefulness 
of him who, in the silence of the modest rectory nearby, conceived it 
and found the means to carry it to perfection. 

Eighteen months had scarcely gone by since the blessing of the 
new St. John's church when, on January 11, 1918, the Holy See dis- 
membered Southwestern Louisiana "° from the Archdiocese of New 
Orleans and formed out of that territory an independent Diocese, with 
Lafayette as its episcopal city. By virtue of this pontifical enactment 
Si. John's church became St. John's cathedral, a title of which it is 
worthy in every respect. 

The pastor of Lafayette could not contemplate the material 
temple he has raised to the glory of God without remembering that 
other edifice built up, as Liturgy's beautiful language reminds us, "of 
living stones", the souls of the Catholic people. Full well did he know, 
moreover, that the quarry where these living stones are dressed is 
the Catholic school. His longing for such a school in behalf of the 
boys of the parish — the girls were long since provided for in the Con- 
vent of Mount Carmel — was at last satisfied when he was able to se- 
cure a staff of Brothers of the Christian Schools, That their coming 
filled a want, has been at once made evident by their rapid success. 
They came but yesterday, so to say; yet the number of their pupils 
has already climbed up well over the two hundred mark; the school 
must "enlarge the place of its tent, stretch out the skins of its taber- 
nacles, sparing not, and lengthen their cords." Quite naturally come 
to the mind in this connection the words of Scripture about them 
whose storehouses are full, flowing out on all sides : "They have called 
the people happy, that hath these things." 

The dignity of cathedral conferred upon his church is not, in 
Canon Teurlings' estimation, a reason why hie should now rest with 
folded arms and unconcerned, as long as there is in the parish a need 
to be supplied. It is now an open secret that he has been for a long 
time fostering new designs in behalf of his parishioners on the north 
side, and that important steps have already been taken for the ful- 
filment of these designs. No wonder that his unselfish zeal and whole- 
souled devotedness struck a responsive chord in the hearts of some 
generous members of his flock; long since did St. Gregory voice the 
experience of ages when he remarked : Qualis pastor, talis populus. 

That such a new foundation has become a necessity speaks well 
for the growth of Catholicity in Lafayette. This growth appears all 
the more remarkable because the territory under the jurisdiction of 
the rector of St. John's is now but a small remnant of that which was 
assigned to him one hundred years or so ago ; the Catholic population 
seems indeed to have increased in inverse ratio of the area of the 
parish. Seven flourishing parishes, besides Lafayette with its two, and 
soon three, churches have been sucessively formed within the limits 
assigned to Vermillion ville on May 15, 1822: Abbeville, Carencro, 


Guedan, Kaplan, Mauriceville, Scott and Youngsville. What is now 
the number of Catholics, where Father Peyretti counted four thou- 
sand?. . . In view of this magnificent development, it behooves the be- 
holder to return heartfelt thanks to God, and to accompany them with 
the earnest scriptural wish : 

With thy comeliness and thy beauty 

Set out, proceed prosperously ... 

Thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully. 





This year 1921 has been most proHfic in centennials all over the 
world. To speak only of Catholic events, 1921 brought back the mem- 
ory of the death of St. Dominic (1221), the foundation of the Third 
Order of St. Francis (1221), the death of Dante AHghieri (1321), 
the birth of St. Peter Canisius, S.J. (1521), the happy death of St. 
John Berchmans (1621), and the foundation at Lyons of the French 
Association for the Propagation of the Faith, (1821). The custom 
of celebrating centennials is not, however, distinctly eccelsiastical : 
hence we commemorated this year in Missouri the one hundredth 
anniversary of the admission of the State into the Union; a number 
of counties down the State could have celebrated the completion of a 
century since their organization, just as well as centenary churches, 
parishes and religious establishments did mark by special solemn 
functions, as was done at Florissant, Mo., Lafayette, La., and Grand 
Cotau, La., the rounding up of a hundred years of existence. 

The custom of commemorating the centennials of great men or 
notable events of the past, is not one of long standing, even though 
the passing of a century has long since been the object of some 
solemnity. That unit of time comes, we are told, from old Etruscan 
mystics. If it is true they invented it, it must be acknowledged that 
mankind is indebted to them for one of the notions which have made 
the deepest and most fruitful impression upon its imagination. From 
it originated in Rome the annus saeailaris, and later on in the Church 
the Holy or Jubilee Year. It is, no doubt, a wholesome practice to 
pause, as it were, at the most conspicuous milestones which measure 
the flight of time. 

But these one hundredth, fiftieth, or twenty-fifth anniversaries, 
which we are so fond of celebrating, are altogether dififerent. The 
custom to commemorate them originated only during the last century. 
It may be a surprise to many to learn that the earliest centennial cele- 
bration on record was the scoffing jubilee held by Voltaire and his 
friends, on August 24, 1774, to mark — two years after the date — 
the second hundredth anniversary of the Massacre of St. Barthol- 
omew. But no matter if the custom may be traced back to such an 
unholy beginning: in itself it is good, as it affords the opportunity 
of a thoughtful retrospect upon the years elapsed. That kind of ex- 
amination of conscience brings back to the mind much to be satis- 
fied with, and to be thankful to God for, while at the same time it 
rehearses once more the lesson contained in the mistakes and failures 
inseparable from all human achievements. 


296 NOTES 

Most fitting was it, therefore, that we, of Missouri, should 
celebrate the rounding up of one hundred years of Statehood. And 
we did celebrate it with all the zeal and enthusiasm of which Mis- 
sourians are capable. There were on this occasion public festivities 
at Sedalia, at St. Charles and at St. Louis. St. Louis had been for 
a number of months previous to President Monroe's Proclamation 
of August 10, 1821, the center of a great deal of political activity: 
there was the seat of the government of the Territory; there, in 1817, 
had been drawn up the Memorial to Congress begging admission into 
the Union; there, in the "Mansion House," corner of Third and Vine 
streets, assembled in June 1820 the constitutional convention; there, 
on September 19, 1820, at the "Missouri Hotel," Main and Morgan 
streets, convened the first General Assembly, and was adopted the 
"Great Seal of the State of Missouri." The first General Assembly 
established at St. Charles the Seat of the State government; there it 
was that in November 1821, Governor Alexander McNair proclaimed 
the admission of Missouri to the Union. That the first capital of the 
Missouri State was entitled to recall its temporary (1821 — 1826) 
grandeur, was quite natural. But Sedalia?. . .Why the round of com- 
memorating festivities should have commenced at a place devoid of 
all connections with the birth and early life of the State, in a town 
which was not even in existence at the time, is a puzzle which we 
shall not attempt to solve: Felix qui potiiit rermn cognoscere causas. 

It were superfluous to describe in these brief Notes the various 
functions held at St. Charles, on August 14, and St. Louis, during 
the week beginning on the 9th of October. The files of the newspapers 
will preserve for the generations to come the accounts of these red 
letter days. 

A few words of retrospective comment, however, will not be out 
of order. 

In giving the Church a prominent place in the program of their 
celebration, the organizers of the St. Charles commemoration dis- 
played a sense of historical propriety, which was not exhibited in 
the same degree by the organizers of the much more elaborate St. 
Louis festivities. True, the memory was of a purely secular, political 
event: the Catholic Church as such took no part in it. Her representa- 
tive men, however, did not fail to realize the importance of the event. 
So for instance Bishop Du Bourg, who, on February 29, 1820, wrote 
to Father Rosati : "There is scarcely any doubt but that this Terri- 
tory shall be admitted this year among the States of the Union. This 
is an affair of the utmost importance." True again, most of the men 
who played a part in this little drama, were non-Catholics ; most of 
them had been active in the politics of their native states, and no 
sooner did they transfer their household goods to Missouri Territory, 
than, with characteristic American "push" and scorn for things and 
persons not bearing the Anglo-Saxon stamp, brushing aside the "slow" 
native men of distinction, elbowed their own way to the forefront and 
monopolized the direction of public affairs. But the thoughtful ob- 

NOTES 297 

server must not be satisfied with the superficial glance which mani- 
fests only outward appearances ; he knows that fluent and loud talkers, 
officious and bustling busybodies are not the true cause of momentous 
political events; the true cause usually hes hidden far beneath the 
surface. Now if we ask: What is it which so ripened the then far 
western territory of Missouri for statehood, that it could achieve it 
as early at 1821, whereas other Territories settled long before, easier 
of access, had yet to wait before reaching the maturity of Statehood? 
Obviously the answer is in the rapid increase of the population in 
Missouri. And if we inquire further: What was the cause of this 
rapid increase? We are sent for a reply to the policy of the Spanish 
government using all possible inducements to attract west of the Mis- 
sissippi Catholic settlers. We purposely say "Catholic," since a re- 
ligious test, by no means draconian and impossible to evade, however, 
was imposed on the new comers. How numbers of Catholics, and a 
few others, too, flocked from the territory east of the great river 
when that territory had fallen into British hands and after, has be- 
come a common place; and how, thanks to these Catholic emigrants, 
Missouri won back in the Eastern States the reputation of being a 
land good to live in, so that, after the Louisiana Purchase, hosts of 
"Americans" came to seek a home in its towns or amidst its rich 
fields, the records of the increase of population are there to testify. 
If, therefore you look for the ratio sufficiens which accounts for the 
early development of Missouri rendering it fit for Statehood as early 
at 1821, you will find it in the endurance and pluck of its early Cath- 
olic colonists, in the Catholic colonizing policy of Spain, in the Cath- 
olic population which this policy attracted to our shores. 

What if, moreover, we scan the loose leaves of Missouri's early 
history, the records of discovery and early exploration? All are the 
works of Catholic bravery. When, in Territorial times or the first 
following years we look for establishments of education, charitable 
institutions, works of social uplift, always we see looming over the 
fagade the Catholic cross. And the century just completed reveals no 
falling off of the old Catholic spirit of pioneer times : in every line 
of public life and activity the Catholics of Missouri yield to no one 
in true progressiveness, intelligent concern for the public weal and 
unselfish devotedness. As the Most Reverend Archbishop of St. Louis 
reminded his hearers at St. Charles, "the Church furnished the dis- 
coverers, the first colonists, the schools, the atmosphere of civiliza- 
tion, the first Government and the leading citizens," in a word the 
creators of th^ soul of Missouri. Her gentle influence it is which has 
given to our State to stand in the forefront of religious toleration 
putting it on a parity with political toleration. That soul is the spir- 
itual power behind the State today. It has lived for a hundred years 
and will continue to live, blocking the way to the radical tendencies 
of those who while proclaiming liberty with their lips are tyrants in 
their hearts, and protecting the State from the enemies of justice and 
the enemies of freedom. Well, therefore could Archbishop Glennon, 

298 NOTES 

in a later occasion, sternly condemn "the utter fallacy of the position 
of those who now would say, in the face of this history, that our 
Catholic religion is a thing alien to, a thing foreign in our State." 

Whatever the reasons alleged, the program of the October cele- 
bration in St. Louis, as arranged by the St. Louis Missouri Centen- 
nial Association, made no provision for a religious celebration. On 
the initiative of an active group of ladies of the city, a solemn and 
impressive function at the Old Cathedral was organized to repair 
this regrettable omission. It took place on Sunday morning, October 
9, thus ushering in fittingly the round of festivities by thanksgiving 
and prayer to the "Bestower of all good." If evidence were needed that 
the people of St. Louis do not think "that our Catholic religion is, a 
thing alien to, a thing foreign in our State," the crowds which, that 
morning, filled to overflowing the old edifice, and the composition of 
that worshipful assembly aflford that evidence. His Grace the Most 
Reverend Archbishop of St. Louis presided and spoke. Most glad 
and proud are we to be permitted to present his discourse to the read- 
ers of the Review. 

The second scene of the religious program of the day was en- 
acted near that spot of Calvary Cemetery where side by side are laid 
the mortal remains of the first Governor of Missouri, Alexander Mc- 
Nair and his wife. Marguerite Susanne Reilhe. Governor McNair, 
who came from a family of Scotch Presb}1:erians and had been bom 
and reared in a Protestant community, had been for some years visibly 
attracted to the Catholic faith : "The whole family of our Governor," 
WTOte Bishop Du Bourg to Father Brute on July 6, 1822, "are prac- 
tical Catholics ; and the Governor himself does not miss any of our 
church celebrations." Owing no doubt to the example of his wife and 
children, he wished to die in their Faith, and received on his death- 
bed the last rites of the Church. Fitting it was that his tomb in Cal- 
vary, to which his remains were transferred from the old Military 
Graveyard at the time of the opening of the Cemetery, should no 
longer remain unknown ; and with a most commendable sense of pro- 
priety the Calvary Cemetery Board chose the day of the opening of 
the Centenial celebration for the unveiling of the shaft telling to the 
generations to come that nearly a hundred years after his untimely 
death, the memory of their Governor still lived in the hearts of the 
Catholics of Missouri. On the monument, of Missouri red granite, 
is the inscription : 



First Governor of the State of Missouri ; 

born in Mifflin County, Pa., May 5, 1775; 

died at St. Louis. March 18, 1826; 



Erected by the Calvary Cemetery Association 

on the looth Anniversary 
of the Admission of Missouri to the Union. 

NOTES 299 

From Governor McNair to the centennial Drama, Missouri — 
One Hundred Years Ago, the transition is natural, as Alexander Mc- 
Nair is one of the Dratnatis Personae. The production in the Coliseum 
of that Drama was the outstanding feature of the second week of the 
Centennial festivities. Leaving aside any appreciation of the execu- 
tion, which, in all its parts, costumes, scenery, acting, music, proved 
an unqualified success, we would fain turn our attention to the text. 
Whether, as we are bidden to observe, this text "represents a distinct 
step in the technical progress of the Community Drama movement 
in America" (p, xi), is a question of aesthetics lying beyond our 
scope. Not so, however, the query whether the drama is, as heralded, 
"severely historical in its translation of the spirit of political events, 
and in the rigid economy of its characterization" (p. x) ; and lest our 
judgment should go astray a warning is given: "The author has not 
attempted to 'white-wash the period,' but to present it. The characters 
are not heroes in the rose light of worshipful descendants, but types 
of a past day, just inside the frontier, with all their political and per- 
sonal aspirations and animosities within them. They speak as their 
contemporaries reveal them ; as the wrote themselves down in their 
letters, as the journalism of their day reflected them" (pp. x-xi). 
In other words, the author by means of "this comparatively realistic 
method" wished to restore before our eyes the original scenes and 
characters of one hundred years ago. Has he succeeded ? One hundred 
years ago, even at times of hottest political excitement, St. Louis 
was not, judging from the accounts of the many who saw it then, 
the kind of unruly, disreputable frontier settlement presented to us. 
One hundred years ago St. Louis counted some four thousand souls: 
of these we see not a score — the others — where are they? That the 
score of persons who figure in the drama are representative of St. Louis 
one hundred years ago might well be gainsaid ; at any rate the "un- 
retouched" pictures of the most of that score of citizens of St. Louis 
are not true to life. 

In a short while, the skill displayed in the devising of cos- 
tumes and scenery, the art and earnestness with which the participants 
entered into their several parts, will be forgotten. The text will re- 
main: scripta nuinent, says the old adage. Will that text contribute 
to the fame of Mr. Thomas Wood Stevens? We doubt it very much. 

It's a long way from St. Louis to Grand Coteau, La. ; yet dates 
suggest our bringing them presently together: the same month of 
August 1821, which saw President Monroe sign the Proclamation of 
Missouri's admission into the Union, witnessed likewise the arrival 
of two religious of the Sacred Heart at Grand Coteau for the pur- 
pose of opening there a Convent and school for young girls on a 
estate offered by Mrs. Charles Smith. The two religious were Madame 
Eugenie Aude, who had come from France three years before with 
Mother Duchesne, and Sister Mary Layton, a young girl from the 
Barrens, the first American postulant ever received in the Order. They 

300 NOTES 

were coming from Florissant, then the American home of the Com- 
munity, of which Grand Coteau was to be the first offshoot. Three 
weeks after reaching the hospitable home of Mrs, Smith, the Religious 
of the Sacred Heart took possession of the house prepared for them, 
though it was not yet finished, — a two story frame building, fifty-five 
feet square, surrounded by a veranda, adjoining which where two 
small — separate buildings of one story each to serve as kitchen and 
dining room respectively. In the beginning of October five pupils 
were received; and thus humbly commences the now one century 
long history of the second oldest institution of learning in Louisiana. 
This history is told briefly in a charming, exquisitely tasteful and 
beautifully illustrated pamphlet issued in memory of those one 
hundred years of achievements. It were wrong to insinuate the School 
of Grand Coteau is old ; it is one hundred years young, and has before 
it all the promises of vigorous youth: Ad multos annos! 

Perry County, Mo., was organized May 21st, 1821, The realiza- 
tion that a century had rolled by since that far away date, and that 
its close should not be let pass without a fitting commemoration, has 
brought back to life the moribund Perry County Historical Society, 
and stirred them up to gather materials for the history of the coun- 
try ; they hope, no doubt, that — if we may be allowed to reverse the 
well-known phrase — "the function will create the organ," that is, will 
rouse up some day the historian capable of assimilating these mate- 
rials, and elaborating them into a complete History of the County, 
Meanwhile they have determined to bring out for the centennial cele- 
bration, held August 10, "some of the salient facts of that history," 
The Centennial History of Perry County, Missouri^ booklet of one 
hundred pages or so, looking quite attractive in its gold-colored paper 
covers, is the result of their first endeavors. 

Let us say it at once, though: the printing contrasts painfully 
with the pleasing outward appearance of the book. The printers' devil 
has disported himself with unbridled license through its pages : still 
the innumerable misprints defacing the text may perhaps find some- 
how an excuse in the unavoidable haste with which the work was 
brought out : three weks from the first conception to the issuance of 
such a book, must have left no time indeed for proof-reading. But 
the indulgence of the most lenient reader can go no farther. That pages 
should not be numbered is to him intolerable ; moreover, think what 
he will of the value and propriety of advertisements in a book that 
wishes to "provoke thought," that style of printing which squeezes 
the text within whatever space was not pre-empted by a bank, a hard- 
ware store or a shoemaker, he must find supremely undignified, 

A glance over the title of the chapters : Geology of Perry Co, ; 
Geography, Topography ; Minerals ; Caves and Springs ; Pre-historic 
People; Colonization; Education; Religions; the Merchants of Old 
Perry ; Business interests in Perryville in 1921 ; the Medical Profes- 
sion; Dentists of the County; the Perry County Bar; Officials of the 

NOTES 301 

County ; Perry County Press ; Courts ; Transportation ; Political His- 
tory; During- the World War, will evince at once the range of sub- 
jects more or less completely treated. No topic worth talking about 
was omitted — except the people. Where the people of Perry County 
originate from, we learn in detail ; but about their economic life past 
and present, their social life, their local customs, their distinctive 
traits, etc., we are told nothing. It is to be regretted that in the 
History Committee, or among the colaborators, there was not found 
anyone with a mind sociologically inclined, to study this important 
subject of the people. Merchants, doctors, lawyers, clergymen, poli- 
ticians, we find everywhere: their kind is very much the same all the 
State or the country over, and if individuals differ from place to place, 
the differences are slight and accidental; whereas the people in Per- 
ry County have characteristics all their own, not to be found in Cape 
Girardeau County, or in Bollinger County, or in St. Genevieve County. 
The delineation of these well-defined characteristics, the description 
of these picturesque local customs, the moral photograph of the 
native "Perryvillian," we are sorry to miss in the History in our hands. 
To follow in detail the work of the various contributors would 
take us too far afield. A few remarks, however, are in order. The 
name of Cinque Homme Creek, found repeatedly in the chapter on 
Geography, must come first for a bit of comment. It is a French 
name, tradition avers, and it means Five Men. The current expla- 
nation of the name in Perry County, is that once upon a time, five 
men were drowned in the Creek. Who these five men were, when, 
at what place exactly, and in what circumstances the alleged acci- 
dent occurred, no one has ever been able to tell. At a time when, 
on all sides, there is manifested a legitimate curiosity regarding the 
origin of our place names, here is a problem which might tempt the 
Perry County Historical Society. We advise them, however, not 
to burn the midnight oil over it ; for, on investigation, they must come 
to the conclusion that the little current story is a mere legend origi- 
nated in the strange name which no one could explain. Anyway, be 
the story true or fanciful, the spelling Cinque Homme, evidently the 
sorry achievement of some local "French scholar", is simply bar- 
barous. And, what is worse, it is relatively modern, and bespeaks in 
its originators inexcusable ignorance of a name, whose association 
with Perry County in the last years of the XVIIth century, ought 
to be regarded as a glorious tradition, and jealously preserved as a 
precious heritage. That this horrible spelling is relatively modem 
(Collot cannot be invoked in its favor, for he wrote correctly Cinq 
Hommes) our voucher is the Report of the Commissioner of the 
General Land Office, annexed to the Proceedings of the 24th Con- 
gress — 1835 (see p. 187, claim of Leo Fenwick; pp. 189 and 191, claim 
of Ezechiel Fenwick; p. 395, claim of Joseph Fenwick; pp. 399 and 
401, claim of Martin Fenwick), where the famous Cape and Creek 
(Rividre a la Viande) are constantly and consistently spelled St. 
Cosme, after the name of the famous missionary, Jean Francois Buis- 

302 NOTES 

son de Saint-Cosme, concerning whom more anon. It is much to be 
desired that, for the sake of orthography and the preservation of 
Perry County's historical traditions, the old correct official spelling 
should be restored, and Cinque Homme consigned to utter oblivion. 
But this is the affair of the County's officials: Videant consules. 

If we read aright, through the web woven by the printer's devil, 
the first sentence of the section devoted to the Indians, we must take 
exception to the statement it contains: for how long the Shawnees 
"roamed over the rolling hills and fertile valleys of what is now 
Perry County", is pretty well known, since the date of their advent 
can be determined with fair accuracy and that of their departure is 
matter of public record. Nor should the stone implements picked up 
in great numbers in the fields be attributed to these late-comers. 
Before them, and until the middle of the eighteenth century, the 
territory between the Mississippi river, Apple Creek and the Saline 
was, since the occupation of the valleys of the Osage river and its 
tributaries by the tribe after which that river was named, the un- 
disputed possession and hunting ground of that powerful nation. 
The migration of the Shawnees and Delawares to what is now Perry 
County was one of the consequences of the situation created for the 
French settlers east of the Mississippi by the Treaty of Paris (1763) 
and the War of Independence. For many years the Shawnees and 
Delawares, gradually moving westward from their original habitat, 
had lived in the neighborhood of the French settlers and in unbroken 
friendly relations with them. When the bulk of the latter went over 
to Missouri, their Indian neighbors were easily persuaded, or determ- 
ined themselves to follow them. Nothing could be more pleasing to 
the Spanish authorities, as the settlements of these friendly Indians 
would serve as a bulwark against the predatory raids of the Osage 
marauders and the encroachments of the Americans. The first mi- 
gration of Shawnees and Delawares to Spanish territory took place 
about 1782, apparently with the tacit consent of Cruzat. Most of 
them settled on Apple Creek. Some Delawares were, at least in 1788, 
farther south, in the bottom of what is now Mississippi county. In 
1793, Don Louis Lorimier (whose first wife was a Shawnee, and 
second wife Marie Berthiaume had Shawnee blood in her veins), 
with the authorization of Baron Carondelet, gave the Shawnees and 
Delawares a grant of land, situated between the St. Cosme and Flora 
Creek and extending westwards to the White Water. Other members 
of these two tribes came later to Upper Louisiana, either at the sug- 
gestion of their Missouri kinsmen or on the direct invitation of Lori- 
mier, who went, in 1794, and again 1796, to visit these tribes on 
the Glaize for that purpose. 

That "le grand village Sauvage" numbered at any time about 
five hundred lodges would be hard to prove. Perrin du Lac, who 
visited it in 1802, says : "Le grand village contains about four hun- 
dred and fifty inhabitants (italics inserted) of every age and sex." 
While the Shawnees and Delawares were always friendly to their 

NOTES 303 

white neighbours, and the only foul deed recorded against them is 
the murder by a Shawnee, in Cape Girardeau County, of Mrs. Jane 
Burns, this was not by any means "the only outrage perpetrated by 
the Indians of this locality." The presence in the territory of these 
weak Indians inspired very little awe to the other tribes roaming in 
the district. So for instance, not to speak of the murder of seven 
persons by the Osages at Mine La Motte, on April 7, 1774, or of these 
same Indians attacking, in the prairie near Terre Blue Creek, Henry 
Fry and his bride-to-be, then on their way to Ste. Genevieve, we 
have on record the case of Ephraim Carpenter, who had settled on 
the Saline, in 1797 and was driven away by the Osage Indians ; and 
the case of James Moore, Sr., who had taken up a farm on the St. 
Cosme creek, in 1802, and was fired on by Indians who pursued him 
several miles ; as late as 1809 a solemn council of the Shawnees was 
held near Cape Girardeau, to try three Indians and a squaw accused 
of murder. 

The chapter on the Catholic Church had naturally the lion's share 
in the reviewer's attention. The author opens this chapter with the 
statement that "the history of the Catholic Church in Perry County 
antedates its (?) organization by at least twenty years." He is by 
far too modest : for if the sunrise of historical times may be dated in 
1813-1814, when Father Dunand built the log-chapel of the Barrens, 
the truth is that a long dawn, of well-nigh a century and a half pre- 
ceded this sunrise. As, through the dim and uncertain light of this 
dawn, a few facts emerge now and then, we submit these few dis- 
connected, but precious fragments of early history of Perry County. 

The earliest mention in historical records of any spot later in- 
cluded in Perry County, is apparently that which is found in the 
Relation of Marquette's first voyage down the Mississippi river 
(1673). There is scarcely any doubt but Fr. Marquette, in a well 
known passage of his Relation, is describing Grand Tower. But that 
he cast even more than a passing glance upon this picturesque bit of 
Perry County scenery, would scarcely deserve to enter in the Catholic 
Annals of the County; more important is the fact that he and Joliet 
probably camped upon the site where was laid out early in the last 
century the now forgotten town of Birmingham, in the southeast 
corner of Perry County. Foundation for this opinion is afforded by 
the narrative of the Missionary, recording that, a short distance above 
the mouth of the Ouaboukigou (Wabash, that is, the Ohio) the ex- 
plorers saw "clififs, on which our Frenchmen noticed an iron mine,, 
which they consider very rich. There are several veins of ore, and 
a bed a foot thick, and one sees large masses of it united with peb- 
bles." So precise a description could scarcely be the result of ob- 
servations made from canoes floating down stream along the shore; 
we must suppose, therefore, that the "Frenchmen" of the party ex- 
amined the spot leisurely during one of the many stops made on the 
river bank. That this camping place was not far south of Grand 
Tower, we are invited to conclude from Marquette's remark: "Here 

304 NOTES 

we began to see canes, or large reeds, which grow on the bank of 
the river." For Charlevoix, a very careful observer, notes in his 
Journal Historique (Letter 29) that, on the 12th of November, 1721, 
he passed le Cap de Saint Antoine on the left ; "there canes begin to 
be seen." Now St. Cosme describes very minutely Cape St. Anthony 
as a rocky bluff on the left bank, just "some arpents" above "another 
rock on the right, which projects into the river and towards an island, 
or rather a rock about one hundred feet high," — which is certainly 
no other than our Grand Tower. 

Proud as the Perry County people may justly be that Marquette 
rested for a few hours on their soil, they have yet another ground for 
legitimate pride, for to the Grand Tower rock was reserved the honor 
of serving as a pedestal for the second — perhaps even the first — 
cross erected in Missouri. On December 10, 1698, Fathers Frangois 
Joliet de Montigny, Antoine Davion and Jean Francois Buisson 
de Saint-Cosme, of the Quebec Seminary of Foreign Missions, glid- 
ing down the Mississippi, saw, two days after leaving the Tamaroa 
village, "a hill at a distance of about three arpents from the river 
on the right going down." The party was, Saint-Cosme informs us, 
detained by rain part of the next day (December 11). This means 
undoubtedly they were camping somewhere near-by. For this reason 
most probably has the name of St. Cosme remained attached to this 
spot. The hill spoken of by him is, to this day, known as Cape St. 
Cosme; at the foot of this hill runs the St. Cosme Creek. The next 
morning (December 12) the company reached Cape St. Anthony, 
"where" Saint Cosme notes, "we remained that day and the next to 
get pitch we needed .... Some arpents below there is another rock 
on the right which projects into the river and towards an island, 
or rather a rock, about one hundred feet high. . . . We went up this 
island or rock by a path with considerable difficulty ; and we planted 
a fine cross on it, singing the hymn Vcxilla Regis, while our people 
fired three volleys from their gims." That this conspicuous rock, 
or island upon which Saint-Cosme erected a cross, is our Grand 
Tower, the description leaves no room for doubt. We submit Saint- 
Cosme's prayer to the consideration of the Perry County people: it 
is the prayer of a holy man who was, a few years later, to shed his 
blood for tlie faith among the Chitimachas of Louisiana : "God grant 
that the Cross, which has never yet been known in that region, may 
triumph here and that our Lord may pour forth abundantly the 
merits of His holy passion, that all these savages may know and 
serve him." 

Were we not right when we said it was a pity that the name of 
this heroic priest, the first to pray for this section of Missouri, has 
been crowded out of the memory of the people by the Cinq Homrnes 
who never existed? 

The chasm of a century yawns between Saint-Cosme and the ad- 
vent into Perry County of the first colonists from Kentucky. Some 
fifteen or so more years rolled by ere these good Catholic settlers saw 

NOTES 305 

a priest and had a church in their midst, — all that the author of the 
chapter we are now reviewing may assert to the contrary notwith- 
standing. For where did he find out that the log church in the old 
graveyard on Sycamore Lane was due to the initiative of the inhabi- 
tants? On what authority does he claim that the priest of Ste. 
Genevieve regularly visited that church? that Frs. de St. Pierre and 
Maxwell went there occasionally? that Fr. Alier — who is is anyway? 
never heard of him before — attended the Barrens once a month? or 
even that Fr. Henry Pratte frequently visited this then remote mis- 
sion? On the other hand, Fr. Dunand, the very man who had most 
to do with the Barrens settlement, is spoken of as an occasional visi- 
tor. All this has to be re-written. And for this page of the Catholic 
history of Perry County, we have a first-class source of information 
in a letter of Fr. Dunand, which apparently has escaped the notice 
of the author (Records of the American Catholic Historical Society 
of Philadelphia, Vol. XXVH, No. 1, March, 1916, p. 45 and foil.). 

"On one of my journeys," writes the zealous Trappist, "I arrived 
at the house of Mr. Tucker, a good Catholic who had eight sons and 
one daughter, all except the youngest married and settled about him 
in good homes." This is, needless to say, Joseph Tucker, Sr., who 
had settled on the Saline. "For seventeen years they had not seen a 
priest," (italics inserted) continues our missionary. As his visit to 
the settlement may be dated in 1813, it follows that Joseph Tucker 
migrated to the Barrens a few years sooner than is generally believed, 
about 1796 — 1797. The above statement, moreover, explodes our his- 
torian's assertions concerning visits of De St. Pierre, and Maxwell, 
let alone the shadowy Alier. But we must go on. "I inquired how 
they had passed their Sundays and holy days, without Mass. They 
answered that on these days all the families of the district assembled 
three times ; the first time they recited the prayers of the Mass ; the 
second time they recited the beads or other prayers and followed this 
by singing hymns and canticles ; and the third time some of the better 
instructed taught catechism not only to the children but to the married 
folks as well. I could not help admiring this beautiful arrangement, 
which the Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of righteousness and sim- 
plicity, has established among these pious planters, so simple and so 
free from malice ... I did not wish to leave these virtuous souls with- 
out giving them hope of again seeing me. Finally to preserve or in- 
crease, if such were possible, the concord reigning amongst them, 
/ advised them to build a church" (italics inserted). 

This was, remember, in 1813.... "In less than two months the 
edifice was under cover. . .When it was in readiness Mr. Tucker, 
knowing where I lived, came to remind me of my promise. I had been 
taxing my strength too much...; difficulties and dangers of travel 
caused a kind of repugnance. However..., I did not wish to show 
less courage than the good old man whom these obstacles had not 
hindered from coming to seek me .The journey was laborious, but 

306 NOTES 

their joy at seeing me in their midst rewarded me abundantly and in- 
duced me to return there several times. 

"Msgr. Flaget, Bishop of Kentucky, came to give Confirmation 
in my French parish (Florissant), and I begged him when he had 
finished to visit this new mission. The good report I gave of it made 
him comply most willingly with my request," Indeed the prelate must 
have all the more readily acquiesced, because the people of the 
Barrens were from Kentucky. "Many of the congregation came as 
far as Ste. Genevieve, which is seven leagues farther up to meet 
us... On the next day after our arrival everybody gathered in the 
church and Monseigneur preached so fervently that tears flowed from 
the eyes of all present. We remained nearly nineteen days with them. 
Much of this time was spent in baptizing, in preaching and in the 
confessional." The Diary of Bishop Flaget confirms Fr. Dunand's 
statements. On September 21st, 1814, the Bishop was at Ste. Gene- 
vieve, where he remained until October 5, administering Confirmation, 
at three different times, to three hundred and sixty-one persons. From 
th 5th to the 19th of October, he visited "an American Catholic settle- 
ment at some distance, where forty-five were confirmed." What "Am- 
erican Catholic settlement" was then in existence "at some distance" 
from Ste. Genevieve, to which he returned afterwards, cannot be the 
subject of any doubt. October 1814, therefore, is the date of the first 
visit of a Bishop, and the first Confirmation at the Barrens. 

Once more we return to our Trappist's letter. "When we were 
leaving I promised to see them again in a little while and stay an 
entire month. They were overjoyed. I kept my promise, and when I 
arrived I found that the seed which Monseigneur had planted in these 
well prepared hearts had produced fruit a hundredfold." The Parish 
Registers of Florissant testify to an absence of Fr. Dunand from his 
parish extending from the middle of November to December 27. This 
must be the time of the visit he speaks of in the foregoing lines. "I 
was so well pleased with these good people that I have since re- 
turned there four times a year, although they are forty leagues from 
my parish. The good Mr. Tucker received me in his home. One day 
on arriving there I found him ill. I administered the last Sacraments 
to him and soon after he ended his days full of merit before God. 
He left some valuable donations to the church in his will. Every time 
I visited this congregation I had the good fortune of making some 
converts of one or the other sex." 

Besides these regular visits of Fr. Dunand, the inhabitants of 
Tucker's settlement, as the place was then commonly called, had, at 
the end of December 1817, the pleasant surprise of welcoming for 
a few days in their midst their former pastor in Kentucky, Fr. Stephen 
T. Badin, the proto-priest of America. He was then on his way to 
St. Louis, in company with Bishops Flaget and Du Bourg ; but on the 
day after Christmas he left his episcopal fellow-travellers at the farm 
of Mrs. Fenwick, near the mouth' of Apple Creek, "in order," Bishop 
Flaget's Diary informs us, "to visit on the way many of his old 

NOTES 307 

friends. Catholic emigrants from Kentucky." He was to find again 
his traveUing companions a few days later at Ste. Genevieve. 

Mrs. Fenwick's farm was the place where Bishop Du Bourg s©t 
foot for the first time in his Diocese. On the 28th of December, in 
great solemnity and to the chant of the Vexilla Regis, the prelate 
planted there a large cross to commemorate the event. 

During the following April he was at the Barrens to examine 
on the spot the offer which a delegation of the place had made him 
shortly after his coming to St. Louis. What agreement was made 
with the people in view of the location there of a resident priest and of 
the Seminary, cannot be rehearsed here. vSuffice it to remark that he 
was no sooner back in St. Louis (April 20), than he called Father 
Charles De la Croix and four workmen under his guidance, to com- 
mence the work at once. Father De la Croix was at the same time to 
take charge of the parish. He is therefore to be considered the first 
resident pastor of the Barrens. During the time of his administra- 
tion, took place the first ordination ever held in Ferryville : on Sep- 
tember 29, Mr. Michael Portier, the future Bishop of Mobile, was 
raised to priesthood. Whether the ceremony was performed in the 
log-church, or in the house of Jos. Manning, where, it seems, the 
Bishop resided, cannot be ascertained. 

Shortly after, exactly on the 1st of October, Fr. Rosati and his 
band of ecclesiastics, exhausted by the long journey — they, by the 
way did not come from St. Louis, but directly from Bardstown, Ky., 
— reached the settlement, and found a home in Mrs. Hayden's house. 
Fr. Rosati, however, did not assume at once, the administration of 
the parish, as our historian seems to think. Father De la Croix re- 
mained in charge until the end of November, at which time he was 
succeeded by Fr. Secundus Vallesano, who had received his appoint- 
ment on November 15, and exercized the pastoral functions until 
late in the spring 1819. Father Rosati was, therefore, the third pastor 
of the parish. 

All along our historian speaks of the building of the church 
as going on at the same time as the building of the Seminary, and he 
tells us that in 1820, the work being completed, Fr. Rosati "blessed 
both church and house." This is certainly an error. No new church 
was built at that time, and the old church erected at the instances of 
Father Dunand did duty as parish center until the new one was 
ready in 1837. True, it had to be enlarged in the course of time ; but 
even this did not take place until 1825. In Bishop Rosati's Diary 
under the date of February 13, 1825, we read : "After high Mass, I 
spoke to the people about enlarging the present church before Easter." 
The following Wednesday, which was Ash Wednesday, the prelate in- 
forms us that excavations were begun for the addition. The work 
was completed on Saturday, March 26, and the entry in the Diav'y 
tells us at the same time of what the addition consisted: it was a 
new choir and Sanctuary, so that the space of the old Sanctuary was 
added to the pew space for the people. 

308 NOTES 

We must close here these remarks. If we have dehberately en- 
tered into some details, it was not out of any intention of carping or 
finding fault, but for the double purpose of encouraging the workers 
of the resuscitated Perry County Historical Society and of showing 
that the field they have engaged themselves in holds out the promise 
of an abundant harvest. The history of Perry County, and above all, 
its Catholic History-, is full of interest, and worthy of a thorough 
treatment. Ample sources of information are at hand. True, they 
are scattered here and there, and the first business of the workers 
ought to be to ferret them out. So far the soil has barely been cleared : 
that is why, to use a bit of that history as a figure, out of the ma- 
terials lying on the ground, only a crude and temporary log-edifice 
has been erected ; let the workers dig deep into the historical quarry 
which awaits their hands, their efforts will produce a solid and lasting 
monument worthy of the subject and defying the teeth of time. 

To the commemoration of yet another centennial, that of the 
erection of the episcopal See of Cincinnati, is the Church of America 
indebted for the History of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (1821 — 
1921), published by the Frederick Pustet Company. Most happy an 
inspiration it was that prompted the Most Reverend Archbishop of 
Cincinnati to entiust to the Reverend John H. Lamott the task of 
writing that History. No one was ever better qualified for the work: 
the thoroughness of his early training in theology, attested by the 
title of Doctor, his schooling in the spirit and method of historical 
sciences in that excellent laboratory — the Catholic University of 
Louvain ; his functions at Mount St. Mary Seminary ; and last, but 
not least, his enlightened appreciation of the men who were called 
by divine Providence to shape the destinies of the Church of Cin- 
cinnati, would by themselves alone recommend in a singular man- 
ner any historical work coming from his pen. Besides all these titles 
to the attention of all the lovers of history, the book in question 
presents itself in a way with the stamp of approval of the University 
of Louvain, by which it was accepted as thesis for the Doctorate in 
Moral and Historical Sciences. 

The plan is happy and clear. After a preliminary chapter on 
the beginnings of Catholicity in Ohio, in the next chapter we follow 
the lives and activities of the four bishops who have ruled the dio- 
cese: Bishop Edward Dominic Fenwick (1821 — 1832), Bishop, then 
Archbishop John Baptist Purcell (1833—1850; 1850—1883); Arch- 
bishop William Henry Elder (1883—1904) and Archbishop Henry 
Moeller (190^1 — ). The geographical development of the Diocese 
is the object of Chapter III : "Boundaries of Cincinnati Diocese and 
Archdiocese ;" we are told thereafter, first, of what the writer well 
styles the "institutional development" : Establishment and Hierarchical 
constitution of the Diocese and its inner growth leading to the 

NOTES 309 

division and multiplication of the parishes; secondly, in c. V, "Eccle- 
siastical Property," the material means at the disposal of the bishops 
and clergy for the welfare of the diocese, came for attentive con- 
sideration; the following chapter, "Diocesan Synods and Provincial 
Councils" deals with the important subject of the legislation regulating 
ecclesiastical matters. The author finally concludes his narrative with 
a sketch of the religious communities both of men and women that 
contributed to the spiritual progress of the diocese (c. VII), and of 
the various manifestations of social activity under ecclesiastical 
auspices (c. VIII). An extensive appendix of 78 pages contains, be- 
sides the original text of some important ofificial documents, a great 
deal of statistical information, among which we must single out, as 
particularly important even outside of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 
the list of priests both Diocesan and Regular, who at any time worked, 
or are still working under the head of the Church of Cincinnati. 

Dry as it necessarily is, this sketch of Dr. Lamott's History gives 
us a fair idea of the completeness of the treatment. Yet the text proper 
does not extend beyond 318 octavo pages, which means the author 
has compressed extremely his narrative, as indeed he should do to 
keep well within the wise limits assigned to a inie d'ensemble. We 
hasten to add, however, the compression is never at the expense of 
completeness. There is still room for monographs either of men or 
places besides his volume : these monographs will center our view 
on some particular point of the History, but we venture to say they 
can scarcely alter the znie d'ensemble which Dr. Lamott has depicted. 
Yet at times delicate and burning questions came for treatment and 
demanded sound judgment and deft handling, as for instance the 
question of the "Purcell Failure." Here, as is usually the case in 
questions much obscured by human passions and prejudices, the re- 
course to the untainted original sources of information has enabled 
the writer to draw a picture of the episode which bids fair to become 
the final verdict of history; and, needless to say, his picture has not 
the daubing of dark colors which has been often presented to us. 

Neat and correct printing, pleasing, yet becomingly modest out- 
ward appearance, illustration spare, but tasteful and to the point, 
contribute their share to producing an excellent impression on the 

We are indebted to the Michigan Historical Commission for a 
copy of the fifth volume of its University Series and of Lawton T. 
Hemans' Life and Times of Stevens T. Mason, the first Governor 
of the State of Michigan. "The Boy Governor," as Stevens T. Mason 
was and is still dubbed in popular parlance interests us of the Mis- 
sissippi Valley only in an indirect way; but those of us who wish to 
devote some study to the Black Hawk War, will find in Mr. Hemans' 
book some valuable and new information. Of much use will that book 
prove to be to such as wish to form a fair idea of the American life 

310 NOTES 

early in the 'thirties ; conditions in Michigan were then not far different 
from conditions in Missouri and in particular the political atmosphere 
had all over the western states very much the same character. 

Of the four hundred and sixty odd pages contained in the 
other volume referred to above, more than one half are devoted to 
the history of the Pere Marquette Railroad Company, these lie out- 
side of our sphere. Not so the first monograph due to the pen of Ida 
Amanda Johnson, and entitled, The Michigan Fur Trade. We recom- 
ment strongly the perusal of this essay to such among us as are 
curious to get an accurate idea of the adventurous life of the first 
white men who roamed through the forests and plains, paddled their 
canoes on the rivers of the northwest, in pursuit of the coveted 
peltries, of the coureurs des hois, who befriended or cheated the In- 
dians, and lawfully or otherwise engaged in trade with them. Inci- 
dentally the reader will be brought to his great delight across the 
path of the early explorers and the early missionaries ; and will be 
aflforded a better view into their various activities. This is tantamount 
to saying that The Michigan Fur Trade is a rich storehouse of in- 
formation on the early and often, faltering steps of civilization in the 
American continent. 




1822 As the Most Rev. Ambrose Marechal, Archbishop of Bal- 

August timore had, of his own accord, resigned in the hands 
of the Sovereign PontiflF, Pius VII, all the jurisdiction 
which he held, and the care which he exercised over the 
territories of Mississippi and Alabama \ the Holy Father 
at the request of the S. Congregation of Propaganda, ap- 
pointed me ^ Vicar Apostolic of these two States, with the 
character and title of Bishop of the Church of Tenagra, 
in partibus infidelium, by an Apostolic Brief in date of 
August 13, 1822. « 

1. The archbishop of Baltimore exercised his jurisdiction over the territory of these 
two States through the Bishop of Louisiana as his Vicar General for those parts. 

2. Designavit et constituit. 

3. The text of this Pontifical Brief was as follows: 

Beloved Son, health and the Apostolic Blessing. 

Inasmuch as we, this day, by our Apostolic authority have appointed you Bishop 
and Pastor of the Church of Tenagra in partibus infidelium, to enjoy of all the privileges 
and indults which have been sent in our Brief, we explain here more at length our wishes 
in this regard. 

Whereas the two territories of Mississippi and Alabama, in the United States of Am- 
erica, the spiritual government whereof devolved on the archbishopric of Baltimore, are 
situated so far away from the Metropolitan See, that the Archbishop was unable to take 
care of them, he was obliged to confide their administration to the Bishop of New Orleans 
as his Vicar General; as, on the other hand, the Bishop of New Orleans, owing to his 
changing his residence to St. Louis, in Upper Louisiana, nearly five hundred leagues from 
these territories, can no longer take care of them, we, in order that the faithful of these 
parts should not be deprived of spiritual help, have resolved to elect a Vicar Apostolic of 
Mississippi and Alabama, with episcopal character and title and with all the faculties en- 
joyed by the other Bishops of the United States. 

Wherefore, fully confident of your piety, prudence, devotedness and zeal for the 
Christian and Catholic Faith, absolving you from any bond of excommunication. .. .on the 
advice of our Venerable Brethren the Cardinals in charge of the affairs of the Propaga- 
tion of the Faith, We, of our and the Holy See's good pleasure constitute and appoint you 
Vicar Apostolic of the Territories of Mississippi and Alabama, with all the faculties other- 
wise granted by said Holy See to the Bishops of the United States of America, reserving 
always, however, in the foregoing, the authority of the Congregation of the same Cardi- 

Ordaining, moreover, that all whom it may concern should receive you.... All consti- 
tutions and ordinations of the Apostolic See to the contrary notwithstanding. 

Given at Rome, near St. Mary Major, under the Fisherman's Seal, the 13th of August 

H. Card. Consalvi 
(Copy in Archives of the Procurator General C. M., Rome.) 



August On receiving this Brief, and other letters from the S. C. 

18 of Propaganda, dated respectively Sept. 7 * and 13 ^ of 

the same year, together with the faculties both ordinary 
and extraordinary, sent on September 8, after mature con- 
sideration, feeling that I was unable to bear such a bur- 
den, I answered the S. Congregation to deign to appoint 
somebody else ^ ; and, at the same time, I begged earnestly 
Rev. F. Baccari, Vicar General of our Congregation,^ the 
Right Rev. William Du Bourg, Bishop of New Orleans 
and the Right Rev. B. J. Flaget, Bishop of Bardstown to 
plead with the Sovereign Pontiff in order to deliver me 
from the obligation of accepting that dignity. 
1823 Meanwhile, at the request of the S. Congregation, the 

January Sovereign Pontiff, by another Brief in date of January 21, 
21 1823, added to the aforesaid Vicariate the territory of the 

Floridas. ^ This Brief, however, never reached me.® 

4. Original in Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. After rehearsing the con- 
siderations mentioned in the Brief, and the appointment made, Card. Consalvi goes on to 
say: "It behooves you, therefore to receive as soon as possible Episcopal Consecration, to 
repair to the country committed to your care, to look to the spiritual welfare of the Faith- 
ful there, and to work strenuously for the development of our Holy Faith. Later on you 
shall report to us the religious condition of that district, and fully convinced as I am that 
your Lordship will perfectly fulfill our expectations, I pray God...." 

5. Original in Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. At the end the Card. Pro- 
Prefect renews his request to have — this time he says: "as soon as convenient" — Rosati's 
report on the state of Catholicity in Mississippi and Alabama. 

6. A rough draft of this answer (in Latin) is preserved among the Rosati papers in 
the Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. It reads as follows: 

Your Eminence: 
The letter by which Your Eminence has deigned inform me of my election to the See 
of Tenagra and to the Vicariate Apostolic of the territories of Mississippi and Alabama, 
together with the Apostolic Brief and the faculties, both ordinary and extraordinary, 
granted me, has been received. With what sorrow, with what troubled mind I have read 
it, I am unable to describe. As I know my strength, and am aware of its inability to bear 
the burden of the Episcopacy, I cannot convince myself that it is right for me to accept 
it. Wherefore I most earnestly beg and beseech Your Eminence to spare my weakness, 
and have someone else put in charge of these Churches of Mississippi and Alabama. Hop- 
ing, then, that Your Eminence will kindly yield to my humble entreaty, I deem it safe 
for me in conscience to delay my Episcopal Consecration and to abstain from going to the 
districts committed to me. As long as a reply contrary to my wishes shall not make it 
clear to me that another course would be sheer disobedience, I shall never dare leave my 
humble position, and sit up with the anointed rulers of the Lord's Churches. Meanwhile 
I pray Almighty God ever to keep Your Eminence in good health for the good of the 
whole Church for which you work so earnestly and assiduously. 

Your Eminence's 

Most humble and obedient Servant, 
Joseph RosATi, priest of the Cong, of the Mission. 
St. Mary's Seminary, Perry Co., Mo., November 26, 1822. 

7. Archives of the Procurator General of the Congregation of the Mission, Rome. 

8. Copy of this new Brief is in the Archives of the Procurator General of the Con- 
gregation of the Mission, Rome. Part of it was published in The Catholic Historical Reziew, 
Vol. Ill, No. 1, April 1917, p. 16. We give here a translation of the whole document. 

For perpetual remembrance. 

Among the manifold and momentous cares of Our Apostolate is the concern about the 
state of the various Dioceses scattered all over the world; hence it resorts to Our Sover- 
eign Power and Judgment to assign new limits to them, or change these Dioceses accord- 
ing as from the consideration of times, places or circumstances, we perceive it to be use- 
ful for the faithful. 

Now, whereas, according to the report made to Us, the two Floridas, Eastern and 
\yestern, in North America, which were first under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Arch- 
bishop of Santiago of Cuba, then were placed by Consistorial Decree, dated September 10, 
1787, under that of the Bishop of St. Christopher of Havana, and finally, by Apostolic 
Letters of April 26, 1793, were annexed to the Diocese of New Orleans under the Metro- 


At any rate, yielding to the joint entreaties of the Right 
Rev. Bishop of New Orleans, the Archbishop of Balti- 
more, and the Bishop of Bardstown, Pius VII, always at 
the request of the S. Congregation, abrogated the afore- 
said Briefs of Aug. 13, 1822 and Jan. 21, 1823, and, main- 
taining to me the title of Bishop of Tenagra, made me 
Coadjutor to the Right Rev. Bishop of New Orleans, with 
this provision: for three years I was to discharge the of- 
fice of Coadjutor with right of succession; at the end of 
this period, the Diocese was to be divided into two: the 
Bishop of New Orleans would then choose whichever 
portion he preferred, and the administration of the other 
would be given to me by new Apostolic Letters to be then 

July sent to me. I was notified of all this by a letter of the S. 

14 Congregation and a Brief dated July 14, 1823.^° 

politan jurisdiction of the Archbishop on San Domingo, are so far away from the city 
of St. Louis in Upper Louisiana where the Bishop of New Orleans has established his 
residence, that he is absolutely unable to take care of them, and therefore has resigned 
^is right over them; lest the faithful residing in the Floridas should be deprived of 
spiritual help. We, by the advice of our Yen. Brethren the Cardinals of the Congrega- 
tion of Propaganda, have resolved to dismember from the Diocese of New Orleans the 
two Floridas and to unite and annex them provisionally to the recently created Vicariate 
Apostolic of the Territories of Mississippi and Alabama; and finally it being our wish that 
our Yen. Brother Joseph Rosati, recently elected Yicar Apostolic with Episcopal dignity 
and title of the two Territories of Mississippi and Alabama, should have care of, and juris- 
dicion over the two Floridas as well, with all the faculties enjoyed by the other Bishops 
of the United States: so, in virtue of our Apostolic authority by the tenor of the pres- 
ent letter. We decree, this to stand until other provision shall be made by this Holy See. 
Given at Rome, near St. Mary Major, under the seal of the Fisherman, the 21st day 
of January of the year 1823, twenty-third of our Pontificate. 
H. Card. Consalvi. 

9. In order to strengthen his plea for refusing the Episcopate, Rosati wrote to Cardinal 
Consalvi, on April 2, 1823, representing that the creation of the new Vicariate Apostolic 
was not called for. Of this letter. No. 2 of the Official Correspondence, the rough draft 
is extant in the Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. 
Your Eminence: 

As soon as I received the letters of the S. Congregation which, together with the 
Apostolic Briefs, reached me in December (Rosati's memory here fails him: a note written 
by him on the back of the Propaganda letter of Sept. 7, 1822 informs us that this letter 
was received on November 20) of last year, I wrote Your Eminence, begging you most 
earnestly to spare my weakness and to deign to have someone else more worthy of the 
honor of the Episcopate appointed to the Church of Mississippi and Alabama. In my 
doubt as to whether you would graciously listen to my humble entreaty, I made inquiries 
touching the state of those Churches, and I have learned from one of the priests of our 
Congregation, who visited those places, that there are very few Catholics living in that 
country. In Alabama, the town of Mobile is the only one where there numbers are such 
as to enable them — and this scarcely — to support the one single priest who was given them 
as Pastor by the Right Rev. Bishop of Louisiana; at Natchez, Miss., the number of Cath- 
olic families does not go beyond thirty; and they are incapable of supporting the pastor, 
so that the Rev. Constantine Maenhaut, who had been put in charge of that parish, is 
soon to leave it; finally at Bay S. Louis, Miss., there are about twenty Catholic families, 
naturally likewise unable to support a priest. Such being the case. Your Eminence may 
easily conclude to the absolute inexpediency of establishing a Bishop in those districts, 
as Religion may derive therefrom practically no advantages, and a Bishop could not get 
there the means of keeping up his dignity and even the bare necessities of life. I doubt 
not that the S. Congregation, on the strength of these motives, will come back on its 
former decision, and let me work the rest of my life for the salvation of souls to the 
best of my limited abiUty in this Diocese and in the bosom of the Congregation of the 
Mission, which I love as a Mother. Trusting that this shall be the case, I pour to Al- 
mighty God my prayers for Your Eminence's health, and, kissing the sacred purple, sub- 
scribe myself 

Your Eminence's 

Most devoted and obedient servant 
^. „ , „ . Joseph Rosati, priest of the Congreg. of the Mission. 

St. Mary's Seminary, Bois Brule, April 2, 1823. 


Deterred by the advice of our Vicar General and of the 

10. Original in Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. A translation of this 
important document was given in The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. Ill, No. 1, April 
1917, pp. 18—19. 

To our Beloved Son Joseph Rosati, Priest of the Congreg. of the Mission, 
Bishop elect of Tenagra, 
Health and the Apostolic Blessing. 
Beloved Son, 

Last year, by the report of the Secretary of the Congregation of our Venerable 
Brethren the Cardinals deputed to the Propagation of the Faith, We were made cognizant 
of the fact that the two Territories of Mississippi and Alabama, in the United States of 
America, the spiritual care of which devolved upon the Archbishop of Baltimore, are so 
far distant from the Metropolitan See that the said Archbishop was not able to take care 
of them either by himself, or by our Ven. Brother Louis Bishop of New Orleans as his 
Vicar General, on account of the latter's residing in St. Louis, in Upper Louisiana, that 
is, some five hundred leagues from the afore-mentioned Territories; and for this reason 
the Archbishop of Baltimore of his own accord resigned the spiritual administration of 
these Territories; whereupon We deemed it a duty of our Pastoral Office to provide for 
the necessity of the faithful of those parts, and accordingly appointed you, by Apostolic 
Brief dated August 13, 1822, Vicar Apostolic with the dignity and title of Bishop of 
Tenagra for the two above-mentioned Territories; finally, as the aforesaid Bishop of New 
Orleans, owing likewise to distances, could not in any way take care of the Floridas, We, 
dismembering these two Provinces from the Diocese of New Orleans, joined them tempo- 
rarily and until other provision should be made by this Holy See to the aforesaid Vicariate 
Apostolic by another Brief in date of January 21 of the present year. 

But now a recent report of the Secretary of the same Congregation based upon a 
letter of the Bishop of New Orleans has apprized Us of the fact that the establishment 
of the above-mentioned Vicariate and the union thereto of the Floridas made later, as 
well as your designation for that Vicariate, are not only purposeless, owing to the small 
numbers of Catholics in the countries forming it, not only inopportune because these 
countries are utterly unable to support a Bishop, but also your very appointment will 
be a calamity for the cause of Religion in all Louisiana, for your departure from Louisiana 
will strike the death-blow, it is asserted, and to the house of the Congregation of the Mis- 
sion recently erected and working so usefully in Louisiana, and to the Ecclesiastical 
Seminary .and finally to the College founded for the education of young men in Religion 
and in the liberal Arts, as you are the only person, on account of the scarcity and youth 
of the sacred ministers residing in those parts, who can usefully be at the head of those 

After mature consideration of all the above, and by the advice of our Ven. Brethren 
the Cardinals of the Congregation of Propaganda, for the greater good of Religion and 
of the faithful. We deem it advisable to change our decision. 

Therefore, the above-mentioned Apostolic Letters whereby We made you Vicar 
Apostolic of the Territories of Mississippi and Alabama in the LTnited States, and added 
to them the Floridas dismembered from the Diocese of New Orleans, and elected you 
Vicar Apostolic, We, in virtue of the Apostolic authority, by the tenor of these presents 
cancel and abrogate; and thus, as We had elected you Bishop of Tenagra as per our 
former Apostolic Lejter of August 13, 1822, and as you now have possibly received al- 
ready Episcopal Consecration, cancelling likewise your appointment as Vicar Apostolic, 
We designate you to aid the Bishop of New Orleans in the administration of his Diocese 
in quality of his Coadjutor; the following, however, being understood both by you and 
by that Bishop: Louisiana shall be divided into two Episcopal Sees within three years; 
if, which may God avert! the Bishop of New Orleans should depart this life before the 
division be made, you shall at first assume the administration of the whole Louisiana; 
then, when the division is made, you shall have the government of only one of these two 
Sees, and the other shall be turned over to the person designated by the Apostolic See. 

If, on the other hand, the division of Louisiana is carried to execution during the 
lifetime of the Bishop of New Orleans, which We heartily beg of the Lord, then our 
wish is that you, resigning at once your office of Coadjutor, should be by Apostolic Letters 
then to be issued created Bishop of that one of the two Sees which the Bishop of New 
Orleans will not take forhimself. 

We ordain, moreover, in the name of holy obedience, to all and every one whom it 
may now or eventually concern, that they receive you in quality of Coadjutor, and if the 
division of Louisiana is not consummated during the lifetime of the Bishop of New Or- 
leans, then immediately after his demise in quality of spiritual head of the whole Louis- 
iana, according to the tenor of these presents; and that they be subject to you and obey 
you and receive your salutary advice and your commands reverently and fulfill them 
effectually : otherwise every sentence and penalty which you will decree lawfully against 
the contumacious We shall uphold, and shall inviolably procure its execution by the author- 
ity communicated to Us by the Lord, until condign satisfaction be obtained. 

Given at Rome, near St. Mary Major, under the seal of the Fisherman, on July 14, 

H. Card. Consalvi. 


Right Rev. Bishops of New Orleans" and Bardstown 
from resisting the will of the Sovereign Pontiff and of 
the S. Congregation, to the latter, by a letter of Dec. 6, 
December 1823, I made known my acceptance, together with my pur- 
pose of receiving Episcopal Consecration as soon as pos- 

Lettertothe siblc.^^ 

s.c. ofProp. However, as I had sent back to Rome the Apostolic 
Letter of August 13, 1822 ^^ the S. Congregation returned 
it to me, adding a new letter, dated November 22, 
1823, commanding me to obey the will of the Apostolic 
See. " 

11. Bishop Du Bourg, writing from Iberville, La., under the date of November 22, 

1823, said in part: "Alea jacta est There can be now no question of hesitating, for 

the document is imperative, and, however afraid you are at the thougth of the Episcopacy 
— a fright certainly quite natural, which I can never think of allaying, knowing as I do 
the dangers and troubles besetting that office — all that is left for you to do now is to bow 
your head under the yoke imposed upon you. — Father Baccari is aware of the imperative 
clause referred to above, and has approved of it." (Original in Archives of St. Louis 
Archdioc. Chancery.) 

12. The rough draft of this letter has not been preserved; but the text is extant in 
the Regiser of Rosati's official correspondence under No. 4, as indicated in the margin 
of the Diary. 

13. He had sent them back by Father Philip Borgna, C. M., assistant at the Cathe- 
dral of New Orleans, who was going to Europe to restore his health seriously impaired 
by an attack of yellow fever to which he had almost succumbed during the fall of the 
preceding year. Whilst Father Borgna was urged by Father Rosati to plead for him, that 
he be spared the burden of the Episcopate, he was strongly advised by Bishop Du Bourg, 
on the other hand, to work for the appointment of Rosati as Coadjutor. See Letter of 
Du Bourg to Borgna, Washington, D. C, February 27, 1823 in St. Louis Catholic His- 
torical Review. Vol. II, No. 1 — 2, January-April 1921, pp. 118 and foil. The documents 
returned to Rome were accompanied by this letter to Card. Consalvi (Rough draft in 
Archives of S't. Louis Archdioc. Chancery) : 

Your Eminence: 

No sooner was I informed by Your Eminence of my appointment to the Vicariate 
Apostolic of Mississippi and Alabama and my elevation to the Episcopate, than I most 
humbly entreated the S. Congregation, in a letter addressed to Your Eminence, not to 
lay upon my shoulders a burden which is beyond my strength. After fiirthei considera- 
tion, for I did not wish to oppose the will of God, I think I ought to persevere in the 
same disposition, owing to the reasons which I most humbly explained to Your Eminence 
in my second letter(tlie letter cited above in Note 9; that letter had just been 
written the day before this was penned). I have no doubt but that these reasons will meet 
the approval of the S'. Congregation. In consequence I am returning to Your Eminence 
the Apostolic Briefs together with the faculties granted me, beseeching you most earnestly 
to be pleased not to consider this course of mine as an act of disobedience. Indeed I 
firmly hope with the grace of God that, amidst the sad examples given in this unhappy 
country even by those of the household of the faith, I may until death profess for the 
Vicar of Jesus Christ that veneration, obedience and fidelity which I have imbibed from 
my early years in the Eternal City. 

With the greatest respect, and kissing the sacred purple, I am 
Your most humble and obedient servant, 

Joseph Rosati, priest of the Congreg. of the Mission. 
St. Mary's Seminary, April 3, 1823. 

Determined as was Father Borgna to disregard his superior's wishes and to follow 
his own judgment in this affair, he was spared the trouble, for the matter had been settled 
months since when he arrived in Rome in the beginning of November 1823. 

14. Original in Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery. 

Right Reverend Sir. 
I surmise that, when you receive this letter. Your Lordship will be in possession 
of a letter of the S. Congregation of July 5, and, added to it, an Apostolic Brief whereby 
Pius VII, of holy memory, appointed you Coadjutor to the Right Rev. William Du Bourg, 
Bishop of New Orleans. I take it for granted likewise that vou learned frmi the same 
letter the repeal of the Apostolic Brief of August 13, 1822, whreby the administration of 
Mississippi and Alabama was confided to you as Vicar Apostolic, and, on the other hand, 
the confirmation of the Apostolic Letter of the same day electing you Bishop of Tenagra. 
When, therefore, I received yours of the 3rd. of April 1823, to which you had joined the 
Brief concerning the Vicariate, which you begged to decline, and also the Brief of your 
election to the Bishopric of Tenagra, as you thought that, since you were not to assume 
the office of Vicar Apostolic, you were not either to be promoted to the Episcopal dignity. 


December Faculty was granted to the Bishop of Tenagra to dis- 
7 pense the Missionaries from the divine office, and impose 

upon them instead the recitation of the fifteen decades of 
the Rosary. 
1824 In compliance with these orders of the Holy See, and 

I. circ. Let- receiving from the Bishop of New Orleans letters advis- 
tf. to the ing me of the choice of the place in Lower ^^ Lx)uisiana 
Dioc. No. 1. where the Consecration was to be, and of the most con- 
venient time for that ceremony l^ I made my prepara- 

I deemed it advisable to write at once to Your Lordship, to send you back the afore- 
mentioned Brief of your election to the Episcopacy, in order that, as soon as you can. 
now that the oiftce of Coadjutor has been conferred upon you, you should receive Episcopal 

I do this with this letter and urging that you obey the will of the Apostolic See, 
I pray God, etc. 

Julius M. Card, de Somlia. Dean of the S. College. 
Peter Caprano, Archbp. of Icon, Secretary. 

15. Writing from Iberville, La., on November 22, 1823, Bishop Du Bourg, announcing 
to Father Rosati he had received the Mandatum Apostolicum for the latter's consecration, 
and declaring to him he should submit to the wishes of the Holy See (See above Note 
11) added: "The Pontifical Brief is all the more precious and sacred, because it is as 
the last will and testament of our Most Holy Father (Pius VII), who lived only thirty- 
five days after it was expedited. Have a funeral service for him in all the churches of 
Upper Louisiana." (Original in Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery). In compliance 
with this request. Bishop-elect Rosati sent to all the Pastors of Upper Louisiana the Circu- 
lar Letter referred to in the marginal note of his Diary, and entered under No. 1 in the 
Register entitled by Fr. Van der Sanden Copiae Litterarum et Documentoriim Officialium 
a Rmo Josepho Rosati Epo. This was his first act of administration. According to. Du 
Bourg's petition, which was sanctioned by Rome, the Coadjutor was to continue as Su- 
perior of the Congregation of the Mission, reside in the Seminary at the barrens, imd 
have especial charge of Upper Louisiana. This first Circular, written on January 14, 1825, 
was as follows: 

Reverend Sir: 

The news of the demise of our Most Holy Father Pope Pius VII, which you un- 
doubtedly learned from the newspapers, having been ascertained through most trustworthy 
channels, it behooves all the faithful to pay to his memory fitting honors, as to the head 
of the universal Church, and to make the suffrages which filial piety ought to inspire to 
them for the repose of his soul. You are accordingly requested. Reverend Sir, to celebrate 
for that purpose a solemn service in your church, and in order that yotir people mav 
assist thereat, you will announce it publicly beforehand at Mass, urging them not to fail 
to fulfill this last duty to their common Father. 

In order to reurn thanks to God for the special Providence which He has shown 
upon His Church, by giving it in His mercy, after a very short interregnum, a Pontiff 
most worthy to succeed the great Pius VII, in the person of Leo XII, you are requested 
to sing a solemn Mass pro gratiarum actione, that is, the Votive Mass of the Most Holy 
Trinity with Gloria and Credo, and with the Collect Deus cujus miscricordiae non est 
nunierus, which is to be found immediately after that Mass, among the Votive Masses 
at the" end of the Missal. After Mass you will expose the Blessed Sacrament, sing the 
Te Deum and will give Benediction more solito. All this may be done on the Sunday 
after the day on which you have the solemn funeral service. 

I take this opportunity to humbly recommend myself to your holy sacrifices, and to 
beg you to obtain for me from on high the graces I need to bear the burden which has 
just been imposed upon me, in order that it may not prove a cause of ru-n to me or to 

I am sincerely. Reverend Sir, 

Joseph Rosati, Bishop elect of Trneora. 

and Coadjutor of New Orleans. 

16. The question of the m.ost suitable place was not easily settled. Bishop Du Bourg's 
first thought was in favor of Lower Louisiana "in order that most of the priests may be 
present" (Letter of November 22, 1823). It seems, however, that later on he formed 
other plans, and apparently communicated them to the Bishop Elect in a letter which has 
r>ot been preserved: for, writing on December 29, he says: "Since writing to you. My 
Very dear Lord and Brother, I have changed my opinion in regard to the place of your 
Consecration, and have determined to ask you to come down to our Louisiana for that 
cerernony... My intention is that it should take place at Donaldsonville." (Original in 
Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery). — The day also was the subject of some hesi- 
tation. In the letter just quoted, Du Bourg said: "I thought the most f.Tvorable day mieht 
be that of the feast of your Patron Saint, March 19. It seems to me that you have time 
to reach here, as I have no doubt, there is some steamboat coming down during the 


January tions for the journey. Accordingly I started from the 
Seminary for Ste. Genevieve as winter was at its fiercest. 
Received there most amiably by Father F. X. Dahmen ", 
priest of our Congregation and Rector of that Church, 

P'ebruary I stayed with him waiting for a boat. On the Sunday, 
1 preached at high Mass to the people. 

8 Septuagesima Sunday; preached at high Mass to the 


15 Sexagesima Sunday; preached at high Mass to the people. 

22 Quinquagesima Sunday; celebrating Mass early in the 

morning, went on board, and we left Ste. Genevieve. 

month of February. At any rate the ceremony will take place as soon as possible after 
you arrive here." But further reflections compelled the Bishop to alter this part of h\h 
plan, as we learn from his letter of January 1, 1824 (Original in Archives of St. Louin 
Archdioc. Chancery) : "I had not considered when I wrote you last, that the Consecration 
oi Bishops cannot take place except on the feasts of the Apostles, or on Sundays, unless 
there be a special dispensation. Now it would never do to have your Consecration on a 
Sunday, because the Clergy of the Parishes could not be present, and the earliest feast 
of Apostles is May 1st. It will be well enough, therefore, if you start in time to be here 
before Easter, which falls on April 18, so as to have the leisure to take a rest and make 
your retreat." Ten days later, the arrangements, altered once more, took at last final 
shape: "One unfortunately, does not advert to everythnig at once. Now I just noticed 
that May 1st, this year, falls on S'aturday, a fact which places as much difficulty in the 
way of a gathering of the clergy as Sundya itself. I, therefore, set about to examine if 
we could not find a more suitable day. March 25th, feast of the Annunciation, which falls 
on the Thursday of the third week of Lent, would unite all the advantages. But are 
Episcopal Consecrations allowed on a feast day which is neither a Sunday, nor the feast 
of an Apostle? I doubt it, for the Pontifical says that a Pontifical dispensation is neces- 
sary to have an Episcopal Consecration on such days. All this is so embarrassing that I 
see no longer what to do. However, I would be inclined to believe that, on a point un- 
important in itself, when there are grave reasons to suppose the Dispensation, and recourse 
is impossible, it is perfectly reasonable to interpret the wish of the Sovereign Pontiff. 
Hence I would conclude that the ceremony should take place on the day of the Annun- 
ciation." Letter of January 10, 1824 (Archives of St. Louis Archdioc. Chancery). 

17. Rev. Francis Xavier Dahmen was born at Duren, in the Diocese of Aix-la- 
Chapelle, on March 23, 1789, and when he became of age, was drafted into Napoleon's 
army. In 181S, when the first Lazarist expedition for Louisiana was organized, he was 
in Rome, where resided a brother of his, Father Peter Dahmen, first a Paccanarista, and 
later Rector of the pious work of the Convertendi; no doubt, he had come there with at 
view to embrace the clerical life, and probably had commenced his ecclesiastical studies. 
At any rate he offered his services to Bishop Du Bourg, and left the Eternal City with 
Father De Andreis, on December IS, 1815. During the journey, and t"e various stops 
made by the little band on its way to America, he pursued his studies under Rosati and 
De Andreis, receiving Tonsure and Minor Orders from the hands of the Bishop of Louis- 
iana at Bordeaux on May 23, feast of the Ascension, and subdeaconship at Bardstown. 
Reaching the Barrens with the numerous company headed by Rosati after an eventful 
journey down the Ohio, he was ordained deacon on November 1, 1818, at Ste. Genevieve, 
Mo. Meanwhile he had begged admission into the Congregation of the Mission, and had 
been accepted. From fe'te. Genevieve, therefore, he reported to St. Louis, where, to- 
gether with Father Andrew Ferrari, and Joseph Tichitoli, a Subdeacon, he commenced 
his noviciate under Father De Andreis on December 3, 1818. Ordained to the priesthood 
in S't. Louis, on S'eptember 5, 1819. he was some time afterwards missioned to Vincennes, 
Ind., to replace Father Anthony Blanc, sent to another field of labor. His first entry in 
the Baptism Register is dated February 18, 1820, the last entry of Blanc being made on 
January 29. Father Dahmen remained at Vincennes, first with Father Ferrari (who had 
come there at the end of June) until the end of October, 1820, when the latter was re- 
called to Missouri to take his vows, then alone until he was recalled November 1821 (his 
last entry in the Baptism Book is dated Novembre 6). owing to the inability of the 
parish to support a priest. Until the month of April of the following year, 1822. he re- 
mained at the Seminary; after that date we find him twice for some time at Florissant, 
Mo., substituting^ for Father De la Croix, then on a mission among the Indians (See 
St. Louis Catholic Historical Review, Vol. II, p. 65 and foil.); and from there he was 
sent in September to the parish of Ste. Genevieve, become vacant by the death of its 
Pastor, Father Henrv Pratte fSeptember 1, 1822). Cf. STiort Manuscript Life, in the Archives 
of the Procurator General CM., Rome: F. G. Holweck: Father F. X. Dahmen, CM., A 
Biographical Sketch of the Pastor of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., and St. Vincent's, St. Louis, 
(1789—1866), in Pastoralhlatt, September 1918. 


March Until the mouth of the Ohio, river trip quite difficuh, 

owing to the low stage of the water. Five times we struck 
4 sand bars, so that it was only after twelve days, that is, 

on March 4, that we reached there. The remainder of the 
journey we made most rapidly, for the Ohio, brimful 
of water, bringing to the Mississippi its most generous 
tribute permitted the latter to carry the largest vessels; 

8 accordingly in three days we made Natchez, and the fol- 

9 lowing day late at night I left the boat and landed near 
Donaldsonville. There for two days I enjoyed the hospi- 
tality of Father Brassac ^^, welcomed ^^ Fr. Acquaroni ^o, 

11 who came to see me; and, accompanied by Fr. Brassac 

went over to see the Bishop at the house of his nephew 
nine miles from the Church of the Ascension on the left 

18. Rev. Hercules Brassac was born at Marvejols, in the Diocese of Mende (France). 
He was one of the recruits made by Bishop Du Bourg during his long sojourn in France 
(1816 — 1817), and came to America with that prelate on the Caravatie. That he was then 
sufficiently advanced in his ecclesiastical studies is evidenced by the fact he received from 
his Bishop in the chapel of St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, soon after landing, Minor 
Orders and Subdeaconship. He continued his Theology at Bardstown, Ky., under Father 
Rosati; and arriving at the Barrens with all the Lousiana colnoy the 1st of October 
1818, he was shortly after ordained deacon, and on All Saints' Day he received Holy 
Priesthood at Ste. Genevieve. After spending some time near Harrisonville, 111., where 
he inaugurated his sacerdotal ministry, he was sent to the newly established parish of S't. 
Charles du Grand Coteau, La., his letter of appointment bearing the date of April 29, 

1821. He remained there one year, performing his last baptism in the parish on May 14, 

1822, and was transferred to Donaldsonville. See Most Rev. S. G. Messmer: The Rev. 
Hercule Brassac, European Vicar General of the American Bishops (1839 — 1861), in The 
Catholic Historical Review, Vol. II, No. 4, January 1918, pp. 392—416; 448—470. 

19. Amplexatus sum. 

20. Rev. John Baptist Acquaroni, a native of Porto Maurizio, on the Genoese 
Riviera, had, on June 3, 1807, shortly after his sacerdotal ordination, entered the novitiate 
of the Congregation of the Mission in Rome. On account of the political disturbances 
then waging, he was allowed by special dispensation, to make his vows on April 1, 1808. 
Obliged to flee from Rome, he went back to Porto Maurizio where he exercised the holy 
ministry until, order being at last restored, he reported to the Vicar General at Monte 
Citorio, just about the time the first American band obtained by Bishop Du Bourg was 
being organized. He started from Rome with Fr. Rosati on October 21, 1815, staying two 
months at Marseilles, and reaching Toulouse on January 20, 1816. There they were joined, 
four days later by Father De Andreis and his companions, who had travelled overland. 
On February 7, Frs. Rosati and Acquaroni reached Bordeau.x. Together all the missionaries 
waited for Bishop Du Bourg, together they sailed, on June 13, on The Ranger, bound for 
Baltimore, and togetlier they travelled from Baltimore to Bardstown. Fr. Acquaroni re- 
mained in St. Thomas' Seminary until the arrival of Bishop Du Bourg and his numerous 
company, when the necessity of making room for the newcomers obliged Bishop Flaget 
10 assign him to the house of a Catholic, five miles from the Seminary. He does not 
seem to have progressed much there in the knowledge of English, and soon tired of living 
apart from his companions; he therefore begged Fr. De Andreis to call him to St. Louis, 
where he arrived between the 22nd and the 25th of April, 1818. A few months later 
Bishop Du Bourg put him in charge of the two parishes of Portage ile Sioux and La 
Dardenne, Mo. In October 1820 he accompanied from St. Louis to the Barrens the body 
of Fr. De Andreis. In the summer 1822, he begged to be relieved of his Missouri charge, 
and was sent to St. Michael's, La. Owing, however, to a misunderstanding. Fr. Sibourd 
had missioned there another priest when Fr. Acquaroni arrived; he was then sent to 
St. Joseph, and, finally to the Cathedral of New Orleans in Fr. Borgna's place, when the 
latter started for Europe. Judging from Bishop Du Bourg's letters, this apuonitment was 
rather ill advised: "He lacks a little the polite manners which some neop'e want to see 
in a priest" (Du Bourg to Rosati, Aug. 28, 1822). "The said Fr. Acjaroni has no com- 
mon sense... He is childish, and so lacking in discretion as to be the laughing stock of 
some people" (October 3, 1823). The Bishop even complains in the same letter of Acqua- 
roni's independence and disregard of poverty, and one month later (November 9) declares 
it urgent that he should be recalled from the city. It turned out that Fr. Acquaroni was 
attacked by a disease, which tlie doctors called scurfy-leprosy, contracted at Portage de 
Sioux, which rendered his return to Italy imperative. He was, at the time of Bp. Rosati's 
visit to Louisiana, preparing to sail. 


March side of the river ^^ ; we welcomed him just as he was com- 

13 ing back from New Orleans. Two days I enjoyed there 
his company and conversation, and accompanied by him 

14 I came back to Donaldsonville. The next day, after the 
divine service, Fr. Brassac took me over to the Parish 
of the Assumption; there, as the guest of the Pastor, Fr. 

21 Bigeschi, - I made a few days' retreat, after which Frs. 
Bigeschi, Tichitoli ^^ and myself set off for Fr. Bernard 
de Deva's,^* where we remained over night; the follow- 

22 ing day we reached St. Joseph's ^^ where we spent the 
rest of that day and the night with Frs. Potini ^® and 

21. Bishop Du Bourg's nephew here spoken of, was Michael Doradou Bringier, who 
had married at Baltimore on June 17, 1812, Louise Elizabeth Aglae Du Bourg, daughter 
of Pierre Francois Du Bourg de Ste. Colombe, then fourteen years of age. The home of 
the Bringiers, "la Maison Blanche" or White Hall, was near the place here described by 
Rosati. Near by was "The Hermitage," a wedding present of Marius Bringier, the bride- 
groom's father, to the young couple. On coming home after the wedding, Michael Doradou 
had at once set about erecting the splendid mansion still standing and recently renamed 
St. Elmo. "The Hermitage was the favorite home of Bishop Du Bourg, who thus describes 
his life there in a letter to his Brother Louis at Bordeaux (August 6, 1823) : "I am stay- 
ing since the last two months at my niece's; I have a separate house, quite pretty, where 
I am enjoying a peace which I had not known for many years. These dear children over- 
whelm me with attentions. On Sundays a very large crowd of people come to my chapel. 
I am preparing my youngest niece, with two other young girls, for their first communion, 
which shall take place September 8." Annates de la Propagation de la Foi, Vol. I, Fasc. 
5, p. 42. 

22. The Rev. Joseph Bigeschi, young priest of Florence, was enrolled by Bishop 
Du Bourg for the Louisiana Mission, and assigned to the parish of the Assomption of La 
Fourche, La. Bishop Rosati always held him in the highest esteem. 

23. The Rev. Joseph Tichitoli was a native of Como, Italy, and one of the students 
who had gathered together, at Milan, into a kind of pious association under Father John 
Mary Rossetti, and offered themselves in a body to Bishop Du Bourg when the latter 
visited Lombardy, early in 1816. Whilst it was agreed that the rest of the company should 
wait some time (they started only in 1818), nevertheless the prelate, who later on con- 
fided to a friend he had found something particular in the young cleric that strongly ap- 
pealed to him, took him along with him, intending to send him to America with the band 
headed by Father De Andreis, and conferred upon him at Bordeaux (May 23, 1816) 
the Minor Orders. During the voyage and the long sojourn at Bardstown, Mr. Tichitoli 
continued his clerical studies. He had at an early date manifested his desire to join the 
Congregation of the Mission. Hence, when the Louisiana band moved to the Barrens, 
he remained there only a few weeks, and, on November 26, arrived in S't. Louis to make 
his noviciate with Father Ferrari and Mr. Dahmen. His health, however, had never been 
strong, and almost immediately the doctor declared him unable to stand the climate of 
St. Louis. Bishop Du Bourg then ordained him deacon on the 14th of December (he had 
been made subdeacon at Bardstown), and priest the next day, and sent him to Father 
Bigeschi in Louisiana to recuperate. Here is how Father Rosati spoke of him in a letter 
of December 11, 1821 to the Vicar General of the Lazarists in Rome: "Fr. Tichitoli is 
a most precious subject, full of zeal, and a very able preacher both in English and in 
French. Before comjrig up to the Seminary to make his vows (which he made July 26, 
1821) he was sent by the Bishop to give a kind of mission in a little town where there 
was scarcely any knowledge of religion. In four weeks that he stayed there, the whole 
town was changed, there were extraordinary conversions, and at the general communion 
two hundred persons — a thing absolutely unheard of in the small towns of this country — 
received our Lord with remarkable sentiments of compunction and tender piety. If we 
could give missions, he would be the man." Meanwhile he was acting as assistant to 
Father Bigeschi. 

24. Religious Capuchine, was pastor of St. Gabriel, Iberville, having also charge 
of St. Bernard of Galveston, La., from Sept. 25, 1785 to April 28, 1788; next he is found 
at St. Martin des Attakapas from 1788 to 1791; at a later date he was put in charge of 
Assumption, Bayou Lo Fourche; at the time of the withdrawal of the Spanish administra- 
tion, he decided to remain in Louisiana, and probably was secularized. He owned in the 
La Fourche district quite extensive property which he had acquired for pious purposes. 

25. St. Joseph's church was erected in 1819 on land given in 1816 by Baptiste 
Hebert, and served the two parishes of Lafourche and Terrebonne . 

26. Rev. Anthony Potini, a native of Velletri, where he was born in 1799, entered 
the Congregation of the Mission at Monte Citorio, Rome, in January 1816, and was sent 
to America while yet a scholastic in 1818, arriving at the Barrens January 5, 1819. Or- 
dained to the priesthood on the Sunday before the feast of All S'aints, 1820, he was sent 
during the spring of 1821 to take care of the parish of St. Joseph. 


March 23 Rosti,-' priests of our Congregation who have charge of 
that Parish. The next day after Mass we went back to 

24 Fr. Bernard's and remained with him until the following 
day, being detained by rain. After dinner we came to the 
Assumption and finally to Donaldsonville, where I found 
the Rt. Rev. Bishop of New Orleans and most of those 
who had been invited to the Consecration. Everything in 
the church^* was in readiness; the joyous peal of the 
church bell, the roar of the mortar, the sound of innumer- 
able pipes first from the houses near the church, then from 
every other house inside and even outside the Parish of 
the Ascension heralded to all the faithful the morrow's 

25 Accordingly,^" on the day devoted to commemorate the 
Lord's Incarnation, in the church of the A-icension at 
Donaldsonville, amidst a great concourse of people, the 
following pastors and members of the clergy of the Dio- 
cese being in attendance : Revs. Bernard Deva, former 
pastor of the Assumption ; Joseph Bigeschi, present rector 
of the same parish ; Charles De la Croix,^° pastor of St. 

27. The Rev. Joseph Rosti was a Milanese, and a member of the pious association 
under Father John Mary Rossetti, who, persuaded by Bishop Du Bourg to come to Am- 
erica, sailed with Father Cellini, and Messrs. Borgna and Potini in 181S. Soon after 
reaching the Barrens, he sought admission into the Congregation, and, while yet a novice, 
was raised to the priesthood by Bishop Du Bourg, in Otcobre 1821. After taking his vows 
(June 1, 1822), he was sent to Lower Louisiana. 

28. "The church there is very handsome, of brick, with three aisles the roof of which 
is supported by columns, and quite tastily finished; it was built five or six years ago" 
(Bishop Rosati to Fr. Baccari, Vic. Gen. C. M., March 29, 1824). 

29. Bishop Rosati wrote an account of his Consecration on March 28 to the Car- 
dinal Prefect of Propaganda (See hereinafter Note ), and the next day one to Father 
Baccari, Vic. Gen. C. M., in Rome, and another to his brother Nicola Rosati, at Sora. 
The Annalcs de '■ la Propagation de la Foi (Vol. I, Fasc. 5, p. 35 and foil.) contain a 
narrative of the same event by Father J. Tichitoli, C. M., in a letter to Mrs. Fournier, 
Bishop Du Bourg's sister. 

30. An excellent sketch of the Life of Father Charles de la Croix, by Rev. F. G. 
ilolweck, may be found in the St. Louis Pastoral Blatt, Vol. 53, No. 7, July 1919. 

31. The Rev. Aristide Anduze. a native of the Diocese of Rennes, France, was, no 
doubt one of the recruits made by Bishop Du Bourg in France, although he did not come 
with him on La Caravane. We hear of him first, as a S'tudent of Mount St. Mary's 
Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., where, according to the notes of Father Brute, in 1818, he 
was the first person permitted by the Archbishop to study theology for two years," acting, 
while yet a student of theology- as tutor in the College (1819 — 1820). He came to Mis- 
souri in the summer 1820, and Bishop Du Bourg announced his arrival to Father Brute 
in these terms: "Anduze has arrived here. He loves you most dearly. I hope he will 
settle down. He manifests the best dispositions, and. above all, the one I prefer before 
all others — candor" (July 22, 1820. Original in Catholic Archives of America, LTniversity 
of Notre Dame, Ind.). Anduze was ordained f^e following year (November 1821) and 
kept at the Academy in St. Louis. Early in 1823 he was in the East; r.nd Bishop Du 
Bourg sent him ahead from Cincinnati to the Barrens, where he was to wait for the 
prelate (Du Bourg to Rosati, Cincinnati, .April 13, 1823. Original in Archives of St. Louis 
Archdioc. Chancerv). Father Rosati was very desirous to have the voung priest remain 
at the Seminary; but Bp. Du Bourg sent him back to the Academy in St. Louis; his stay 
there this time was rather short, for, on Tulv 23. 1823 Blanc writes to Ro<;ati that Bishop 
Du Bourg intends to install Anduze at Natchitoches next October. The project, however, 
did not come to'Vation, and shortly after that date we find Anduze in charge of St. 
James' Parish. T a. The Avvalcs de In Propanntion de la Foi (V, p. 593—594) relnte the 
story of a strange deathbed conversion broueht about bv him in that parish: "One of 
those men who are Christians onlv in name, being damrerouslv sick, and unwMling to call 
the priest, one of his relnfives notified Fr. Anduze. who went nt once to visit the sick 
man. After various preambles, Fr. Anduze broached the subject of confession; but the man 


March Michael's ; Anduze,^^ of St. James' ; Brassac, of the Ascen- 

sion; Potoni, of St. Joseph's; Rosti and Tichitoli, priests 
of the Congregation of the Mission ; Millet,^- pastor of St. 
Charles; Peyretti.^*^ Janvier; Mr. Hermant,^* a cleric; the 
Very Rev. L. Sibourd, Vic. Gen.,^^ and Father Anthony 
de Sedella,^*^ O. M. C, fulfilling by dispensation the of- 
fice of Assistant Consecrator, I was anointed and conse- 
crated by the Right Rev. Louis William Du Bourg ; Father 
Anduze preached the sermon.^'' 

at once rejected the idea and declared he did not wish to go to confession. Fr. Anduze 
insisted for some time; but seeing it was to no purpose, at last fell on his knees at the 
foot of the sick man's bed, and recited this prayer of a sinner dying in despair: "O God, 
it is true that thou createdst me and madest me to thy own image and likeness; I owe 
tliee everything, and consequently do belong rightftilly to thee; but no matter: I wish 
to be thine neither in time nor in eternity. Jesus Christ died for me: I renounce Jesus 
Christ. The devil wishes my unhappiness and my eternal loss: I wish to go with him 
to burn eternally. Thou createdst me for heaven; thou meritedst it for me: but I desire 
hell for my eternal lot.' On hearing this strange prayer, the sick man became very uneasy 
and said to Father Anduze: 'I do not say that; I do not say that!' Unheeding the inter- 
ruption. Father Anduze went on: 'Thy graces, the merits of Jesus Christ, heaven, eternal 
happiness. I refuse, and trample under foot; hell, an eternity of misery, is what I want, 
v/hat I am bent on getting, — 'I do not say that; I do not say that!' broke in again the 
moribund. 'True,' went on Father Anduze, 'I do not say that in so many words; but my 
whole life says it for me; and even at this hour of death my refusing to go to confession 
says it still louder.' At last the sick man, hearing Father Anduze going on in the same 
strain, broke down, made his confession and died in great sentiments of piety." Father 
Anduze did not stay long at St. James, and before the end of the year was transferred to 
St. Gabriel's, Ibertville, La. 

32. Ordained at Ste. Genevieve, on August 17, 1819: left for Louisiana together with 
Fathers Martial and Evremont Harrisart on October 8th of the same year. 

33. The Rev. Laurence Peyretti, born at Carignan, Diocese of Turin, Piedmont, the 
22nd of September 1799, was studying for the priesthood had received Tonsure and 
Minor Orders at Turin on April 21, 1821, and almost completed his theology, when he 
met Father Inglesi, and offered himself for the Louisiana Mission. He sailed from Havre 
on the 8th of May, 1822, in company with Father J. B. Blanc, and Messrs. Odin, 
Michaud, Andizio and Carretta, and landed in New Orleans July 11. Reaching the Barrens 
with his companions on the 30th of August, he was ordained Subdeacon at Ste. Genevieve 
on October 12, following; he then finished his course under Father Rosati at S't. Mary's 
Seminary, and the next year, was called South by Bishop Du Bourg, who ordained him 
January 8, 1824. 

34. Apollinaire Hermant, son of Pierre Francois and Mary Ann Bracher was born 
at Rodez on July 23, 1800. After studying theology for two years in his native diocese, 
he left France and came to Louisiana, where, in September 1823 he begged Bishop Du 
Bourg to admit him into his Diocese. The prelate accepted him intending, after his ordi- 
nation, to bring him back to the College of New Orleans. He remained in the South 
during the winter, and, as we shall see hereafter, accompanied Bishop Rosati when the 
latter went back to Missouri. A few months later. Bishop Du Bourg wrote to the Barrens 
to "engage Mr. Hermant to turn his views elsewhere." 

3.^. Father Louis Sibourd was sent in 1810 to New Orleans by Archbishop Carroll; 
Du Bourg, at the time of leaving New Orleans for Rome, April-May 1815 appointed him 
Vicar General in his absence, and offict which Sibourd kept until his return to France 
in 1826. Meantime Bishop Du Bourg had repeatedly proposed him to Propaganda as Coad- 
jutor, but without success (Cf. St. Loriis Catholic Historical Review, Vol. I, pp. 304-311; 
Vol. II, pp. 47-51; 132, 134, 137, 139, 142, 143, 214, 219, 224; Vol. Ill, 116, 118. 

36. Father Anthony de Sedella is too well known — although his character is to this 
day the object of great discussiions — to need a particular notice here. Be it remarked only 
that, since the winter 1820-1821 he was reconciled with Bishop Du Bourg. 

37. "An elequent sermon," wrote Bishop Rosati himself to Father Baccari, four days